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Journal of Economic Integration 2022 March;37(1) :121-157.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.11130/jei.2022.37.1.121
A Comparative Analysis of the Effects of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement on the Economic Impacts of COVID-19 in North and Southern Africa

Pousseni Bakouan1 Issaka Dialga2,3 Patrice Rélouendé Zidouemba 4

1University Norbert Zongo, Burkina Faso
2,3University Thomas Sankara, Burkina Faso
3University of Nantes, France
4University Nazi Boni, Burkina Faso
Corresponding Author: Pousseni Bakouan ,Email: bakouan7pousseni@gmail.com
Copyright ©2022 Journal of Economic Integration
ABSTRACT
COVID-19 has forced many governments to take emergency health measures which are undermining productive capacities and disrupting global supply chains. Southern and Northern Africa have been heavily impacted by such measures. According to UNCTAD statistics (2021), the average annual growth rate of exports in Northern and Southern Africa fell by 27.61% and 6.96%, respectively in 2020. Yet, the effective operationalization of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) could have limited some of the pandemic’s economic impacts. Using a computable general equilibrium model, this paper first analyzes the pandemic’s economic impact and then assesses the ability of the AfCFTA to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19. The simulation results show that the AfCFTA would mitigate the economic impact in Southern and Northern Africa. It reduces the decline in intra-regional exports by 7.87 percentage points in 2021. The study emphasizes the need to remove non-tariff barriers to amplify potential positive effects.

JEL Classification
C68: Computable General Equilibrium Models
F13: Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
F15: Economic Integration
I18: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
Keywords: COVID-19 | AfCFTA | CGE model | Southern Africa | North Africa
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