According to information obtained, the African Continental Free Trade Area is predicted to increase trade between African countries by 60% by 2034.
Among other things, the well publicized AfCFTA aims to do away with practically all tariffs.
Presently, just 15% of the commodities and services traded between African countries are goods and services.
Dr. Jennifer Douglas, a specialist in international law and finance, revealed the information on February 21, 2023, outside of the African Union gathering.
According to Douglas, the AfCFTA’s successful implementation has been deemed essential for fostering regional collaboration in Africa’s cultural sector and creative economy.
AfCFTA promotes regional collaboration in the creative industry through co-production and cooperative initiatives, according to Douglas, who spoke on the topic of “The Creative Economy: Strategies for Developing the Industry in Africa.”
According to a statement made by Dr. Douglas, the AFCTA encourages each nation to first develop its own home market before ratifying it in order to create a single, sizable “domestic market” for creatives all throughout the continent.
Douglas, who is also the founder of the Gede Foundation, stated that a survey conducted on the creative industry by the Africa Filter Organization in 2022 revealed that 48% of African youths between the ages of 18 and 35 think a traditional career in sports, for instance, is more lucrative than a career in the creative industry. The study also indicated that 78% of young people in that age group spent little to nothing on cultural activities and the arts.
“But, the good news is that 82 per cent (up to 97 per cent in Nigeria and Kenya) of those interviewed admired the creative industry. The stats is important as youths are the propellers of the creative sector. How can we channel the 82 per cent admiration to concrete action? First, address the core challenges.”.
The don, who is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, England, stated that with accelerators, “we can copy from the equity market to build creative accelerators/incubators. When something works well in one sector, why not clone it for another sector? Then we can tweak it for the real-life needs of creatives. Build exchanges for an art auction and platforms for policy advocacy. Build incentives for innovation that emerge from the incubators.”
At the beginning of the African Union conference, Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations, stated that Africa needs action.
“Africa is rich in potential but it is not rich in global support. Investing in Africa’s prosperity requires finance and developing countries are repeatedly left in the dark, the global financial system routinely denies them debt relief and concessional financing while charging extortionist interest rates,” Guterres said.