#EarlySignals - Jan 2022
12 January 2022
Our monthly selection of news, quotes and figures that slipped through the radar but could have significant implications
Africans are optimistic about economic prospects in 2022A survey conducted by the Afrobarometer in 34 African countries in mid-2021 indicates that almost half (48%) of Africans believe that economic conditions will be better, or much better, in 2022. The wealthiest and youngest are the most optimistic. 30% of respondents expect things to get worse, and 15% expect them to stay the same. Does this optimism suggest a vote of confidence from Africans towards their respective governments? It's all relative. As shown by previous Afrobarometer surveys, while the majority of citizens support their governments’ pandemic response, there is still a confidence gap when it comes to the management of resources and vaccines.
“Our main priority is to make sure that significant trade starts to happen across the continent under the AfCFTA regime.” Talkmore Chidede, investment expert at the AfCFTA Secretariat.Launched a year ago, the ambitious AfCFTA agreement is struggling to materialise. What are the causes of this delay? The pandemic has certainly created an additional hurdle to overcome, but the gap between the free market vision of the AfCFTA and the national economic development priorities of participating countries is the main cause of delay. There are also tense negotiations and disagreements over the rules of origin of the 8,000 or so products that will be traded under the agreement, as well as lobbying by external partners, notably the United States, that advocate for bilateral free trade agreements. Nevertheless, numerous technical milestones have been reached, such as the establishment of a fund to help countries adapt to the loss of import revenues and the creation of a digital platform to provide information on customs procedures.