The African continental free trade area (AfCFTA) and trade in services: opportunities and strategies for Southern Africa

Release Date:
21 August, 2023

The services sector is the most dynamic and promising sector of nearly any economy. Services dominate the Southern African region, largely due to the influence of South Africa, whose services sector accounted for 67 per cent of Southern Africa’s combined services economy. However, sectoral characteristics highlight the need for greater structural transformation, more value addition and job-creating growth. The AfCFTA offers an opportunity to transform the existing commodity-dependent and fragmented socioeconomic spectrum of African countries into a more unified market marked by higher levels of economic diversification and product sophistication. The AfCFTA is meant to allow the formation of larger economies of scale and enhance the region’s specialization in agricultural, industrial goods and services.