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Supporting Investment and Trade in Africa (SITA)


The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) sets out to accelerate intra-African trade by creating a single market for goods and services across 54 AU member states. ODI’s policy-relevant analyses and evidence-informed insights aim to support the negotiations and implementation of the AfCFTA.

The Supporting Investment and Trade in Africa (SITA) programme contributes to development goals of African economies and the UK’s efforts to support trade, investment and development on the continent. ODI works in partnership with the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), with support from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO).

The aim in the AU’s Agenda 2063 to transform the structure of African economies by boosting intra-African trade and investment requires the AfCFTA to play a crucial role. The recent UK Integrated Review highlighted the UK’s continued intention to partner with the African Union on free trade. As such, SITA aims to support AfCTA negotiations, assist on country implementation and undertake policy relevant analysis. Our activities include:

  • Supporting research and knowledge generation in the Economic Commission for Africa’s African Trade Policy Centre.
  • Increasing the technical capabilities of AfCFTA negotiators and officials in AU member states and Regional Economic Communities to negotiate and implement the AfCFTA.
  • Assessing country level preparedness and need for technical assistance in capacity building support.
  • Undertaking policy-relevant analysis around investment, the digital economy and e-commerce, and resilient economic recovery.

Our research

Our videos

Video interviews at ODI with AfCFTA experts

H.E Wamkele Mene speaks to ODI on the AfCFTA and Inclusivity

The AfCFTA plans to be inclusive for women-led businesses and young entrepreneurs. His Excellency Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, provides insights on plans for an upcoming protocol.

H.E Wamkele Mene speaks to ODI on the AfCFTA Investment Protocol

Through the Investment Protocol, the AfCFTA Secretariat is developing a single set of rules for investment to enable ease of doing business and greater investment flows onto the continent by providing enhanced legal protections.

Our events

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Read more on the AfCFTA

  1. Seizing the opportunity: Nigeria's path to market access in services under the AfCFTA

    Research reports

  2. The role of Rules of Origin in promoting industrialisation

    Briefing/policy papers

  3. Reviving Nigeria’s Automotive Industry: opportunities and challenges under the AfCFTA

  4. The automotive sector in Nigeria: Opportunities under the AfCFTA

    Research reports

  5. From negotiations to implementation: building effective AfCFTA National Implementation Committees

    Briefing/policy papers

  6. The AfCFTA Protocol on Investment: issues and potential impacts

    Briefing/policy papers

  7. AfCFTA National Implementation Committees: scoping options and support mechanisms

    Research reports

  8. AfCFTA and rules of origin for the textile and apparel industry in Africa

    Working papers

  9. Intellectual property and women’s economic empowerment in Africa

    Briefing/policy papers

  10. How African integration can help achieve food security

  11. Ethiopia and investment provisions in AfCFTA: issues and challenges

    Research reports

  12. Ethiopia and investment provisions in the AfCFTA: issues and challenges

    Briefing/policy papers

  13. The AfCFTA marks a milestone in its implementation

  14. The AfCFTA and the Automotive Value Chain

    Research reports

  15. AfCFTA: unlocking the potential of the digital economy in Africa

    Research reports

  16. Africa’s economic integration and prospects for UK investors

  17. Tanzania and the African Continental Free Trade Area: possible impacts, policy priorities and scoping of future support

    Briefing/policy papers

  18. The AfCFTA and progress for gender equality