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The African Continental Free Trade Area & the United African States by Prof Vusi Gumede

Prof Vusi Gumede's keynote address reflects on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement that recently entered into force. The Keynote Address deals with the AfCFTA in the context of the African Economic Community (AEC) envisaged in the 1991 Abuja Treaty, which was earlier touched on in the 1980 Lagos Plan of Action for the Economic Development of Africa (1980-2000).

Professor Vusi Gumede views the AfCFTA and the AEC as potential steps towards the United African States – he makes a case for the political federation of African countries into a single African nation as he revisits the Casablanca, the Monrovia, and the Brazzaville blocs/groups as well as examining continental integration efforts since the political independence of the majority of African countries in the mid-to-late 1950s and during the 1960s.

The Keynote Address distills from the work that Professor Gumede is involved with regarding the AfCFTA, pan-African developmental integration and his activism regarding the United African States. Professor Gumede highlights critical issues pertaining to the AfCFTA and proposes how can the AfCFTA be better implemented, including options for dealing with the Regional Economic Communities, the Customs Unions, the Monetary Communities and the Tripartite Free Trade Area.

The Keynote Address examines many other issues pertaining to the political economy of Africa’s development, including Professor Gumede’s disengagement hypothesis which takes forward Professor Samir Amin’s delinking agenda.

Prof. Vusi Gumede in brief

Professor Vusi Gumede, a former Associate Professor at the University of Johannesburg and a former Chief Policy Analyst in the Thabo Mbeki administration, is Professor at the University of South Africa.

  He was also Director of the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute (2013-2018). He is a member of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council in South Africa. Since joining the academic sector in 2010, Professor Gumede has authored and edited thirteen (13) books and he has published over forty (40) journal papers, book chapters and essays.

  He is Editor-in-Chief of Africa Insight and Africanus as well as having guest edited various special issues (including Africa Development). His postgraduate training is in policy studies and economics – he holds a PhD in Economics (completed in 2003) from the erstwhile University of Natal (now the University of KwaZulu-Natal).

  He has led many significant research projects (funded by the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, Open Society Foundation, TrustAfrica, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, International Labour Organization, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Research Foundation in South Africa, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the South African National School of Government, the National Planning Commission in South Africa etc)....

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