Passage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA)
occurs at a time of rising tensions between the United States
and China. Africa’s growth and development prospects depend on a functioning and stable multilateral trading system, but recourse to economic nationalism and protectionism is increasingly undermining the open global economy
and, indeed, the liberal international order on which free
and fair trade depends. This article examines the implications of US-China tensions for the CFTA while assessing the
opportunity for closer engagement between African countries and an axis of emerging powers led by China in an enhanced Global South strategy.