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African Continental Free Trade Area: Challenges and Opportunities for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Nigeria
Current Issue
Volume 5, 2017
Issue 4 (August)
Pages: 30-37   |   Vol. 5, No. 4, August 2017   |   Follow on         
Paper in PDF Downloads: 115   Since Jul. 23, 2017 Views: 2205   Since Jul. 23, 2017
Oluwole Ibikunle Ogunyemi, Agricultural Extension & Management Department, Lagos State Polytechnic, Lagos, Nigeria.
The Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) is being prepared by the Africa Union (AU) to take off in December 2017 for free trade in goods and services. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will participate and drive the free trade area. The paper showed the features of the CFTA, the opportunities and challenges for SMEs in the CFTA and determined the level of awareness of CFTA among formally educated citizens. The study used document study with content analysis as well as primary data collected through convenience sampling in a Lagos suburb and analyzed with descriptive statistics. 65 respondents were targeted but 62 were used for analysis. The results showed that the decision to start the African CFTA was taken in 2012. The mechanism of its establishment is from AU member countries through the eight Regional Economic Communities. The SMEs in Nigeria serve as basis of industrialization. 67.74% of the respondents were not aware of the CFTA while 32.26% were aware. The SMEs will have the opportunities of introducing their product to foreign market and form regional value chain in production. Operational capacities supported by smart technology for monitoring goods in transit and at destinations and overcome of socio-cultural differences like language barrier in the targeted foreign market within the CFTA are required from businesses. Africa should increase the quantity of cross-border business infrastructure for CFTA. The AU should step up media campaign to create awareness of the CFTA among Africans.
Free Trade Area, Africa Continent, Awareness, Small and Medium Enterprise, Challenges, Opportunities, Nigeria
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