The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) represents a unique opportunity for African economies to achieve integrated and sustainable growth. This has the potential to reduce the high joblessness rate that has recently skyrocketed due to the detrimental effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The chronic youth unemployment on the continent currently sits at 20.8%, and in South Africa particularly, the rate is 63.30%. It is a ticking time bomb.
Across the continent, the AfCFTA is seen as an important milestone that has the potential to improve the economic fortunes of the region and to energise its socioeconomic objectives through industrialisation and the strengthening of regional and interstate cooperation.
By easing some of the industrialisation constraints, the regional economy can generate more than sufficient jobs and reduce the youth unemployment rate. Already, the labour force on the continent is expected to increase to 119 million by 2030 with new entrants to the workplace increasing from 2.3 million to 3.6 million.
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