U.S eyes AfCFTA as Trans-Pacific looks bleak

U.S. President Joe Biden is buying into a new free trade zone in Africa as Trans-Pacific Partnership looks as distant as ever.

At a recent hearing on Capitol Hill, experts urged the White House not to miss out on the opportunity, and to back and engage with the new trade bloc.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which took effect in January, is the largest such zone by number of countries since the creation of the World Trade Organization.

Fifty-four of the African Union’s 55 members — Eritrea excluded — have signed on to the idea of creating a single market on the continent.

“The future of African markets, it will be shaped by the cellphone,” Aubrey Hruby, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, told members of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on Africa and global health policy.

“This is the mirror of the world of hundreds of millions of young Africans,” she said, waving her smartphone. 


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