The NAFTA mistakes that Africa’s largest trade agreement can avoid

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) could shape globalization for years to come, particularly if its architects are able to learn from history.

Skeptics of globalization rightly point out the negative aspects of free trade deals. Economic integration leads to heightened competition and structural changes in economies that participate in liberalized free trade areas, resulting in job losses in industries unable to compete.

Yet, globalization and the free trade deals that underpin the phenomenon can be beneficial for countries involved because of the opportunity to develop value chains, focus on competitive advantage, and gain access to large markets for manufactured  products.

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