This paper examines the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in Africa. It gives a macro view of the overall benefits that improved trade facilitation holds for Africa, and highlights some of the benefits that implementing the TFA has brought to the continent. It unpacks the notification process and African countries’ concerns during the negotiation period, and details the special and differential requirements that set the TFA apart from other multilateral trade agreements. It looks at existing constraints to the system, particularly in relation to donor-led trade facilitation assistance and the financing of trade facilitation projects in developing countries. The second part of the paper
examines Zambia’s efforts at trade facilitation reforms. Zambia is an ideal case study for examining the political and economic challenges that landlocked lower-middle-income African countries face in driving trade facilitation reforms and improving their overall trade performance. The Zambian case study provides a snapshot of the challenges and status quo of trade facilitation reforms at four critical border posts. The paper concludes by highlighting potential best practices that have emerged from Zambia as takeaways for the broader Southern African region.