Africa, has been ignoring the U.S.-China trade war that could impact economies worldwide, while launching their own new trade initiative quietly that will be the world’s largest free-trade zone.

The African Continental Free Trade Area comes into force this week after 22 African Nations have ratified the agreement made a month ago. If all 55 nations that make up the African Union adopt the agreement it will cover the continent representing a market of just over 1.2 billion people, with a combined gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion. The size and benefits are obvious, if obstacles from nationalism and protectionism are not allowed to derail this significant initiative. don’t yet stand in the way.

The ACFTA can begin to assist the continent move away from exporting commodities to establish manufacturing and industrial capabilities leading to greater intra-regional trade and the construction of infrastructure such as road, rail and ports that will serve the countries across the continent.