Media release: Free Market Foundation partners with new African free trade initiative

Johannesburg – The Free Market Foundation (FMF) is partnering with the Initiative for African Trade and Prosperity (IATP). The IATP is a joint project of the Institute of Economic Affairs in London and the Vinson Centre for the Public Understanding of Economics at the University of Buckingham in the United Kingdom.

The IATP's mission is to champion free-market solutions as a means to achieve prosperity in Africa. It hopes to do this by identifying and supporting those best positioned throughout Africa to influence policy and public opinion.

The IATP will launch on 00:01 on Wednesday, 19 May. Along with the FMF’s Trade and Innovation Policy Initiative (TIPI), the IATP will be a dedicated classical liberal project focused on researching and writing about African free trade solutions while focusing on serving and assisting a network of organisations and individuals who are interested in doing the same.

Together, the IATP and the FMF will work with local actors to make the case for free trade in and out of Africa, spur both citizen and government support for the African Continental Free Trade Area, and dispel protectionist myths pushed by powerful anti-free trade propagandists.

Commenting on the partnership, FMF Deputy Director Chris Hattingh said:

"The Initiative for African Trade and Prosperity can serve as precisely the kind of focused platform that will push for more trade-, innovation- and growth-friendly trade policies across the continent. The increased trade of goods and services across borders can lift millions of Africans out of poverty, and the IATP will, through its research, analysis and commentary provide the tools required by governments and policy makers to place the continent on an investment-focused and increased job-creation trajectory."

Hattingh has joined the IATP's advisory council. The other members are Franklin Cudjoe (Founding President and CEO of IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, Ghana), Douglas Carswell (CEO of the Mississippi Centre for Public Policy, United States), Linda Whetstone (Chairman of Network for a Free Society, United Kingdom), Marian Tupy (Senior Fellow of the Cato Institute, United States), and Ibrahim Anoba (Editor of African Liberty).

Alexander Hammond, a Policy Analyst at the Institute of Economic Affairs, is the IATP’s director. Hammond is also a trade fellow at the FMF's TIPI.

Hammond explains the importance of the initiative for an emerging Africa:

"Without a strong and coordinated voice advocating the utility of classical economics, and more importantly, assisting those best positioned to make a change, the success of the new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), is unlikely.

The World Bank has predicted the AfCFTA could lift 30 million people out of extreme poverty and boost regional income by over $450bn within a couple of decades. However, due to insufficient participation, increasing calls for economic nationalism post-coronavirus and lack of support for free trade from some governments who have already ratified the agreement, the future of African free trade is at risk. Simply put, never in Africa's history has there been a more important time to make a case for free trade.

The IATP will become a unifying voice for open and liberal trade across the continent. We have already started working with many think tanks and individuals across the continent to make their voices that champion bottom-up African free market solutions more effective and louder than ever before."

The IATP's launch event will be livestreamed on YouTube – HERE

For more information about the IATP, contact Alexander Hammond 

To keep up to date with the work of the IATP, visit the website:
Help FMF promote the rule of law, personal liberty, and economic freedom become an individual member / donor HERE ... become a corporate member / donor HERE