The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was formally established in March 2018 at the 10th Extraordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly in Kigali, Rwanda. It is one of the key priorities of the Africa Agenda 2063 and a major step towards African continental economic integration. It also featured highly in the political declaration of the fifth AU-EU Summit of Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Recently, remarkable progress has been made. Fifty-four of the 55 AU Member States have now signed the Agreement. The Agreement went into force on May 30 and entered its operational phase on 7th July 2019, following the 33rd Extraordinary Summit of the African Union. As of September 2021, 39 member states have ratified and deposited ratification instruments. Trading under the AfCFTA was launched on 1st January 2021 “based on a single rule-book for trade and investment”.
The AfCFTA aims at providing a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of people and investments. Its goal is to accelerate Intra-Africa trade through better harmonisation and coordination of trade liberalisation. A dramatic boost to economic growth and the attraction of investments from both within Africa and the world are among the expected outcomes. The potential gains from increased regional and economic integration are substantial, as the continent has the lowest percentage of intra-regional trade. Only 15% of exports take place within Africa, compared with 25% in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and over 60% in the EU. In addition, exports are often limited to natural resources with little added value from other sectors of the economies. The EU, with its extensive experience with creating an internal market, has been supporting the Africa Free Trade Area since its inception in 2015 and remains committed to supporting its ratification and implementation process.
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the African Union Commission (AUC) Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment (ARBE) are currently finalizing an assessment of economic effects of the AfCFTA on African countries with a focus on the agri-food system. The study analyses the economy-wide (continental, regional and national) and distributional impacts of policy and/or structural shocks, sectoral transmission of sector-specific policies for sectors and regions. The output of the study includes projections of GDP, employment, bilateral trade, capital flows, household consumption and welfare. The results of the model will be presented to the Policy Organs including the 4th Specialised Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment in December 2021.
Please download the full guidelines for applicants and call for proposal in both English & French:
Deadline & Submission
Proposals developed must be submitted in English. To facilitate the evaluation procedure, proposals developed in French, Portuguese, and Arabic should be translated into English before submission.
FARA and JRC are available for further clarification and can be reached via email at the email listed below. Proposal submission should be done no later than 10th November 2021. Proposals should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and, JRC-PANAP@ec.europa.eu