In the long term, TRADE liberalization under GASTA reduces trade costs and allows consumers to access a wider variety of products at lower prices. The World Bank report, The African Continental Free Trade Area: Economic and Distributional Effects, aims to help policymakers implement policies that can maximize the potential benefits of the agreement while minimizing risks. Creating a continental market requires resolute efforts to reduce all business costs. Governments also need to develop strategies to increase the willingness of their workforce to take advantage of new opportunities. The successful implementation of the AfCFTA agreement requires further cooperation. The agreement will take some time to manifest itself on the ground and will allow businesses and citizens to fully enjoy the benefits of greater integration. Thus, the EU took several decades to fully implement and was implemented in phases. In addition to implementing the agreement itself, more investment in infrastructure and human capital will be required. It is essential that African countries commit to further improving their institutional capacity for taxation and redistribution of the benefits of Gazeta`s policy. These include the integration and harmonization of regulatory measures, the removal of non-tariff barriers to trade and investment, and the facilitation of entry into the formal economy. (6) (8) The political dynamic towards free trade across Africa has strengthened.

In March 2018, more than 40 countries signed the Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. After its full implementation, AfCFTA is expected to cover all 55 African countries, with a total GDP of about $2.2 trillion. This NDS reviews recent business developments in sub-Saharan Africa and assesses the potential benefits and costs of AfCFTA, as well as the challenges of its successful implementation. In addition to increasing trade flows for both existing and new products, AfCFTA has the potential to generate significant economic benefits for African countries. These benefits include increased returns from improved efficiency and productivity through better allocation of resources, increased cross-border investment flows and technology transfers. In addition to reducing import duties to ensure these benefits, African countries must remove new trade barriers by making their customs procedures more efficient, reducing their significant infrastructure gaps and improving their business climate. At the same time, policy measures should be taken to mitigate the different effects of trade liberalization on certain groups, as resources are redistributed in the economy and activities move to places where costs are relatively lower. Infrastructure is another key factor in taking full advantage of the potential benefits of GASTA. Filling Africa`s physical infrastructure gap will require $93 billion in public and private investment per year.

(8) The short- and long-term effects of trade agreements should therefore be distinguished. UNCTAD is also assessing the impact of the agreement on subsector employment (Figure 4). Most of the benefits of continued trade integration (i.e. the social benefits of lower import prices, efficient production and increased production, employment and higher value-added exports, technological specialization, etc.) will occur in the long term, while most of the costs of adaptation and integration (i.e., adaptation and integration costs) will occur in the long term. ,