Africa's leaders to launch bid for world's largest free trade area

Henrietta Strickland
March 19, 2018

The areas listed include sectoral and systemic issues, as well as the "aggregated and granular effects" of the new free trade deal for Nigeria's "fiscal, structural and monetary policies".

Today on Monday, foreign ministers are meeting.

"President Buhari has cancelled his trip to Kigali, Rwanda, to attend an Extra-Ordinary Summit of the African Union on Tuesday, March 21, to sign the framework agreement for establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area", according to the statement by Tope Elias-Fatile, the foreign ministry spokesman.

National President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba in a statement in Abuja, said that signing the agreement was "extremely unsafe and radioactive neo-liberal policy initiative being driven by the Ministry of Trade and Investment that seeks to open our seaports, airports and other businesses to unbridled foreign interference never before witnessed in the history of the country".

Fresh from a trip in Zimbabwe and Mozambique to meet his counterparts over the weekend, Ramaphosa scheduled his third trip to an African country as President to Rwanda.

Consequently, the development was to allow more time for broader consultations and input from the stakeholders.

The AfCFTA will make the continent the largest free trade area created since the formation of the World Trade Organisation.

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat‏, has called on African countries to sign massively, ratify urgently and apply scrupulously what he called a "landmark agreement" that will launch the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).The Free Trade Area is one of the flagship projects of the First Ten-Year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063, and aims to deepen the integration process and fast-track the continent's economic growth and development by creating one huge market.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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