By January 2021, the reality for 55 African countries will take a new turn. State leaders will knock down restrictions on movement across the world’s largest free trade area.
Once the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) kicks off, 1.5 billion people and almost all goods would have unlimited free movement. Services trade will also face less restrictions. In the past, commodities have been the focus when it comes to trade. Even the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics provides data for only trade in goods.
Many ignore services trade which accounts for almost 10% of global GDP. The service sector also makes up 65% of the world’s output and over half of Nigeria’s economy.
For Nigeria to fully reap the benefits of a closer Africa, it needs to think beyond the ancient focus on goods and position itself to win in the services game.
Sitting across me in his office is