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Publication | 24 March 2022

Potential effects of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on African agri-food sectors and food security

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, which entered into force at the beginning of 2021, aims to boost intra-African trade and to accelerate economic development on the continent. This report complements previous continental economy-wide assessments of the impacts of the AfCFTA by providing a more comprehensive description of the trade agreement’s effects on food systems and food security. The report employs a global, multiregional model to determine the trade creation and diversion effects of four liberalisation scenarios defined by various policy objectives. The main findings show that the trade agreement will be a positive contributor both to economic growth through higher value added production and to trade diversification. Food consumption across the continent will also increase. A coordinated liberalisation approach to promote trade in agri-food products will further boost food security outcomes. Nevertheless, food prices will increase slightly in most regions, showing the need for further consideration of food affordability aspects in lower-income groups. Results also highlight the importance of non-tariff measures and the capacity of the AfCFTA to reduce the non-tariff costs of intra-African trade.