Sipho Mabena
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
5 Jan 2021
4:50 am

Graft may derail Africa trade deal

Sipho Mabena

Electronic preclearance system is way to avoid border post bribery.

The multi-billion-dollar trade deal between Indonesia and Australia was signed after months of diplomatic tension. AFP/File/TORSTEN BLACKWOOD

High foreign debt, endemic corruption, incapacity and mismanagement are some of the ills experts fear could sink the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (ACFTA) under which the continent started trading this month. According to the World Bank, ACFTA, which has so far garnered 54 African Union (AU) member signatories and seeks to create a single market for goods and services, it is a major opportunity for African countries to bring 30 million people out of extreme poverty and to raise the incomes of 68 million. Once fully operational, the free trade agreement has the potential to boost intra-Africa trade...