African Continental Free Trade Area and its implications for regional peace and security
This policy brief will assess the prospective impact of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) on creating pathways to peace and security across the African continent. The regionalism which will be ushered in by the implementation of the AfCFTA will bring with it a combination of threats and opportunities that will impact upon the governance, peace and security situation across the continent. The predominant fear is that the AfCFTA, and its effects of increasing cross-border trade, will also increase the opportunities for nefarious actors to fuel their trade in illicit weapons, narcotics, illegal immigration, natural resource extraction and human trafficking. These illicit trade processes are, however, already taking place in the absence of a fully operationalised AfCFTA. In fact, this policy brief contends that the opposite is more likely to transpire. The operationalisation of AfCFTA will increase trade and generate pathways to enhancing peace and security initiatives, as well as advance the trend towards political regional and continental integration. This is likely to enhance efforts to promote peace and security in war-affected regions of Africa.