State of the Nation  2024


African integration

Promoting the movement of goods, services, people and capital across Africa is vital to our continent’s future growth and prosperity. This is why government is working to strengthen economic and trade ties with the rest of Africa.

African integration promises to open up more opportunities for local producers and consumers, lower the costs of trade and attract large-scale investment.

The African Continental Free Trade Area

A significant milestone towards African economic integration was reached and trading has officially began under the new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The Free Trade agreement is about Africa taking charge of its destiny and growing its economies faster. The AfCTA has the potential to boost African incomes by billions of dollars over the next decade. This is especially important as the continent recovers from the devastating economic impact of COVID-19.


A single market for goods and services:

  • 55 countries

  • 1.3 billion people

  • Combined GDP of $3.4 trillion


AfCFTA goals

  • Connect all the regions of Africa

  • Boost African trade and investment

  • Create opportunities for entrepreneurs

  • Create jobs for African youth

  • Provide new export opportunities for ‘Made in Africa’ products

Government is working to leverage the opportunities opened by the AfCFTA to expand the footprint of South African companies into the continent, and to attract new African investment on home soil.

Intra-African Trade Fair

The successful hosting of the Intra-African Trade Fair in Durban last year was part of an effort to promote greater trade between South Africa and other countries on the continent.

The event brought together governments, buyers, investors, entrepreneurs and manufacturers from more than 55 countries to help realise the potential of the AfCFTA.


Estimated $36 billion in deals concluded

80+ South African companies participated


South Africa hosted a successful 20th Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum on 2-4 November 2023 in Johannesburg.

The Act allows for qualifying African countries, duty-free access to the US market for their exports.

At this year’s forum, African Trade Ministers called for the extension of AGOA beyond 2025 to enable eligible African countries to attract further investment from US companies.

South Africa benefits greatly from AGOA. It is the United States’ largest trading partner in Africa. Government plans to leverage its good standing with the US through the benefits of AGOA, to make an important contribution to the transformation of other African countries.

AGOA can contribute significantly to the diversification of African economies from being mainly exporters of raw materials to producers of finished goods for both continental and global markets.

Such regional value chains will be integral to the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), allowing for greater integration to further reduce Africa's dependence on primary commodities and enhance its ability to participate in global value chains.

This means the creation of more jobs both in South Africa and in other African countries.

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