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Africa starts trading on new Free Trade Area

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African countries on January 1 begun officially trading under a new continent-wide free trade area, with full implementation of the deal expected to take years.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) aims to bring together 1.3 billion people in a $3.4 trillion economic bloc that will be the largest free trade area since the establishment of the World Trade Organization.

If fully implemented, the AfCFTA will lift 30 million Africans out of extreme poverty and 70 million from moderate poverty, according to World Bank estimates.

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