One of the most difficult problems is that the transport and telecommunications infrastructure between Africa and the rest of the world is more developed than on the continent itself. In addition, bilateral relations in many African countries are facing relatively low levels, so much remains to be done. Despite numerous efforts to strengthen regional integration, this goal has so far become largely elusive and Africa`s fragmented trade structures remain. Despite growth, only about 12% of Africa`s trade is intra-regional. This is 22% for South America, 40% for North America, 50% for Asia and 70% for Western Europe. The 60-85% tariff exemption will have a significant impact on facilitating cross-border trade in goods and services. In 2016, the African Electronic Biometrics Common Passport was introduced and the AU established a protocol on the free movement of people. Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa are among the countries that have not signed the protocol. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNCA) has found that progress in mobility has been slow (African Regional Integration Index). Agriculture will also benefit from the creation of a more sustainable African food market. Strengthening agricultural trade will also promote agri-processing and other sectoral links with manufacturing. (8) The agreement will make the regional bloc the largest free trade area in the world in terms of the number of participating countries since the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1995.

According to a 2018 report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), it is expected to have a transformative effect on participating markets, with the agreement reaching a 52% increase in intra-African trade by 2022. UNCTAD anticipates a number of long-term economic benefits from the full implementation of the agreement, including a total of $16.1 billion per year and a halving of the continent`s trade deficit, GDP and employment growth of 0.97% and 1.17% respectively. The agreement should fully benefit African citizens and entrepreneurs. It can also contribute to significantly advancing the job creation that the continent sorely needs, particularly in the manufacturing sector. According to UNECA, industrial exports are expected to benefit the most from the agreement. In 2018, about 60% of the continent`s population was under the age of 24, while only 3 million jobs were created for the 10 to 12 million young Africans who enter the labour market each year. There is therefore an urgent need to create jobs and increase employment rates in order to promote social and economic prosperity.