The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is viewed as a welcome socioeconomic objective and represents an important milestone in the context of the Pan-African imperative of achieving an economically integrated Africa.
This agreement, which took effect on January 1, 2021, has the potential to fuel the socioeconomic transformation of Africa through industrialization.
However, the AfCFTA will live up to its potential only if the benefits of production and trade expansion are equitably distributed and the process leaves no one behind, in particular marginalized groups.
Some of the obstacles currently facing entrepreneurs are low literacy levels of African youth, lack of access to business training, lack of skills development in the technical fields, and insufficient access to technology and markets.
Investment in basic education and skills development is an important consideration for African governments. They must therefore strive for education reform that will facilitate the unimpeded participation of young people in the socioeconomic development of their countries.