Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Government spokesperson Louise Mushikiwabo said that the Extraordinary AU Summit that is happening this month in Kigali, the Continental Free Trade Area will be adopted by a significant number of AU members.

So far 26 Heads of State and other head of governments have confirmed their participation.

According to the Rwandan government’s Twitter,Minister said:” AU reform is on and irreversible. There have been some reluctance on the part of some countries but the progress is happening. The drive for self financing mechanisms and prioritization of AU projects are picking up.”

The African Ministers of Trade considered and approved, for submitting to the Extra-Ordinary Summit of the African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government, the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as well as the Protocols on Trade in Goods and Trade in Services that will form part of the Agreement. The Ministers also approved a Work Programme for concluding the outstanding issues for implementation that will start after the Extra-Ordinary Summit of the AU Heads of State and Government that will take place on 21 March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda.

The envisaged AfCFTA offers an opportunity to create larger economies of scale, a bigger market and improve the prospects of the African continent to attract investment. South Africa is, therefore, committed to a coordinated strategy to boost intra-Africa trade and to build an integrated market in Africa that will see a market of over 1 billion people with a GDP of approximately US$2.6 trillion. Beyond the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA), the AfCFTA will provide new export opportunities for South African products and services in West Africa and North Africa.

The Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) meeting at their 30th Ordinary Session at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, elected on 28th January 2018 a new bureau to pilote the activities of the Union for the year 2018.

The newly elected Chair of the African Union is HE. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda. He is taking over from HE. Alpha Conde , President of the Republic of Guinea who has been chairing the Union for the past year 2017.

The Express News


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