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Africa is among the world's most dynamic economic regions. Since 54 of 55 African Union members signed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in March 2018, diligent work is being undertake to develop this continent-wide free trade area that aims to harmonize trade and services across the continent.

ANSI and its U.S. government and private sector partners conduct strategic activities in Africa to enhance the U.S. position in trade-related discussions, and to ensure a U.S.-friendly implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). To accomplish this, ANSI engages its African partners at the continental, regional, national, and sub-national levels. This includes cooperative activities with the Pan African Quality Institutions (PAQI), the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), national standards bodies (NSBs), as well as other government and non-government organizations.

Activity Highlights

In 2014, ANSI signed a cooperative Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO). ARSO is an intergovernmental organization that was established in 1977 by the African Union to enhance African trade and competitiveness through standards development and harmonization.

The U.S. holds one free trade agreement (FTA), 12 Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFAs), and nine Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) on the African continent. The U.S.-Morocco FTA was signed in 2004 and entered into force in 2006. As of March 2020, the U.S. has announced plans to negotiate a second FTA with Kenya.

ANSI capacity building programs are intended to serve as strategic tools for the U.S. private sector and government to ensure a level playing field on the African continent.

Fast facts

  • Two-way trade between the U.S. and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) totaled $40.9 billion in 2018.
  • In 2019, Africa was home to four of the world’s fastest growing economies (Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Rwanda).
  • The AfCFTA will forge the largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organization, connecting more than 1.3 billion African citizens with an estimated $3.4 trillion GDP.

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Staff Contact

International Development Staff