With the Abuja Treaty as the legal foundation, the African Union is committed to fast‐track the establishment of a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) by 2017 as an indicative date. More recently, in June 2015, the AU Heads of States formally launched the CFTA negotiations to be conducted in two phases. The first phase to be concluded by the end of 2017 is on goods and services; the second phase will focus on investment, competition policy and intellectual property rights. The negotiations formally began in February 2016 with the convening of the first meeting of the CFTA‐Negotiating Forum.
Deep reflection is required on what it will take to “bring the CFTA about”. It is therefore proposed that the eighth edition of Assessing Regional Integration in Africa (ARIA VIII) will focus on implementing the CFTA.
ECDPM’s Jan Vanheukelom gave a presentation on “Political Economy of Continental Integration – Peria and the CFTA: Conceptual framework and issues“