The African Development Bank (AfDB), says the size of trade within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is worth 3.3 trillion dollars.
The president of AfDB, Akinwunmi Adesina said this at the ongoing Tokyo International Conference of African Development (TICAD) in Japan.
According to a statement issued by the bank’s communication and external relations department on Thursday, Adesina said Africa had the largest free trade zone since the World Trade Organizations was established.
According to him, the continent has a huge market which can no longer be ignored.
He explained that Africa represented a massive business opportunity, adding “the world’s 12 fastest-growing countries are in Africa’’.
“With a population of more than one billion people, consumer spending in Africa is projected to rise from 680 billion dollars in 2008 to 2.2 trillion dollars by 2030.
“The continent will have the fastest growing youth population in the world by 2030.
“Significantly, the African continent far outpaces every other region in the world when it comes to the uptake of mobile phones and internet connectivity.
“And of all the world’s continents, Africa has been the fastest growing mobile market for the past five years, with more than 200 million mobile users.
“It has also recorded the highest internet growth, from just 2.1 per cent in 2005, to over 24 per cent in 2018. By 2025, an estimated 300 million people will come online in Africa.
“Five years later by 2030, Africa will have 16 per cent of the world’s internet users, a growth of over 260 per cent from 2017,’’ he said.
The president said the growth was dramatic and would not stop there as the continent was building on this growth of mobile telephony to inaugurate a new wave of dynamic and more competitive digitally enabled businesses.
According to him, the number of technology hubs, physical spaces designed to foster and support tech startups and growth dramatically to 442, with the largest concentrations in South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, and Ghana.
He said these centres provided space for entrepreneurs from all sectors to innovate and integrate digital solutions into traditional sectors.