Africa has traditionally been an economically fragmented region, with low intra-regional trade. With the aim of increasing the levels of trade between African countries, the African Union (AU) Member States launched negotiations for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The key objectives of the AfCFTA are to accelerate the pace of economic regional integration in Africa by eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers on all trade in goods and services and by liberalising the movement of people and investments across the continent.
While Ethiopia is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, its integration into the African market remains restricted. The Ethiopian trade landscape is characterised by high tariffs. However, the Government intends to leverage its ratification of the AfCFTA to improve the country’s trade profile.
In this context, International Economics Consulting Ltd. (IEC), with funding from the GIZ, conducted an assessment for the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association (ECCSA) on how the private sector in Ethiopia can benefit from the AfCFTA. Special emphasis was given to SMEs and Women Business Owners. The company produced a study and policy brief outlining how the benefits of joining the AfCFTA can be maximized for the private sector.