10:00 am EDT - 11:30 am EDT

Past Event

Leveraging the AfCFTA to accelerate US trade and investment in Africa

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

10:00 am - 11:30 am EDT

The Brookings Institution
Falk Auditorium

1775 Massechusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC

Despite weathering a confluence of economic and political headwinds, the African continent remains brimming with optimism, innovation, and opportunity. In 2024, the region is set to be the second fastest-growing region in the world and by 2050, Africa will be home to 25% of the world’s population with combined business and consumer spending of up to $16.12 trillion.

This positive economic outlook is buoyed by several factors, key among them enhanced trade and integration, accelerated by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The AfCFTA, the world’s largest free trade area in terms of member countries, formally went into effect on January 1, 2021.

Now in its fourth year, the agreement has made huge strides in its mandate to create a single continental market by removing trade barriers and unlocking opportunities for Africa to join regional and global value chains. For U.S. business and economic relations with Africa, the landmark agreement presents a unique opportunity to tap into its growing consumer base and accelerate investment.

On April 10, 2024, the Africa Growth Initiative (AGI) at Brookings hosted H.E. Wamkele Mene—the first secretary general of the AfCFTA—for a conversation on progress to date, recent  challenges, and possible strategies for using the AfCFTA to accelerate global business and investment in Africa. The Secretary General’s keynote address were followed by an expert panel discussion on the future of U.S. trade and investment in Africa. Closing remarks were then be made by Hilda Suka-Mafudze, the African Union ambassador to the U.S.

Viewers submitted questions for the panel by emailing  [email protected] or via X (Twitter) @BrookingsGlobal using #FutureAfCFTA.

Guests at Brookings are required to attest to their state of health before attending. Visitors may not enter the building if they are feeling ill for any reason, have any symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19, have recently tested positive for COVID-19 and do not yet meet the criteria to resume normal activities based on current CDC guidance, or have been advised by their healthcare professional or otherwise to not enter any space where some persons may not be vaccinated.