Who Makes Policy Campaign 2016 Edition

Free Trade Zones Will Move Forward With or Without Us

Free trade agreements (FTAs), when done fairly, distribute progress in an equitable manner. It is much easier to achieve these type of results when the nations involved have similar economic conditions. FTAs have the ability to generate economic opportunities, and  bonds of cooperation and interdependence which many nations seek. That is why 54 African nations are currently negotiating the Continental Free Trade Area agreement. It would include every nation on the continent and create the largest free trade zone in the world. This zone would bring together a population of 1 billion people that is estimated to reach 2 billion by 2050. The west should see this as an opportunity to help the continent without direct “meddling.” Western nations can offer their expertise in the development of infrastructure and capacity. As Western Europe understands all too well, a crisis in Africa can create mass migration which in turn destabilize its local political landscape. It is make sense to assist underdeveloped nations in pooling their resources and strengths to create free trade zones that will result in stronger bonds of cooperation.  The potential stability can help ease some of the strain that western nations face in coping with the absorption of large numbers of economic, political and conflict refugees.

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