Understanding Public Sentiment in Relation to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement

Olubunmi Ajala, Amanze Ejiogu, Adeniyi Lawal

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This study explores public sentiment in relation to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) by analysing 18,481 tweets mentioning ACFTA over a three-month period. The findings highlight the dominance of actors outside the African continent in the public discourse on ACFTA thus indicating the importance of the African diaspora and foreign interests in framing the debate and influencing public opinion on the continent. They also highlight the salient issues in the public debate on ACFTA to include its potential effects on national economies and jobs as well as the potential for its exploitation by foreign interests. The study also points at a disconnect between governments and politicians promoting ACFTA on the one hand and the average citizen in Africa on the other as it shows a general negative sentiment in all regions and age groups, and more particularly in West Africa and amongst males towards ACFTA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-141
Number of pages15
JournalInsight on Africa
Issue number2
Early online date16 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).


  • AfCFTA
  • Africa
  • Twitter
  • Public Opinion
  • Diaspora
  • Machine Learning
  • diaspora
  • public opinion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations


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