Kigali-19 February 2018: Today Minister of Foreign Affairs Cooperation and East African Community Louise Mushikiwabo, launched a two day African Union’s Executive Council which brings together African Ministers of Foreign Affairs.This session is one of the preparatory meetings leading to the signing of the agreement establishing the Continental Free Trade Area.
In her opening remarks, Minister Mushikiwabo acknowledged the experts and Ministers for negotiating and agreeing on the AfCFTA and she updated them that the text to be signed in on 21 March 2018 will promote continent’s socio-economic development since more than one billion people will benefit from the opened market.
She said: “ With the adoption of the AfCFTA Agreement, it will then be important for all our countries to sign it, so we can proceed with speedy ratification and implementation. Agreement is not just a simple document, it has critical economic implications for African populations. It will open up a market of 1.2 billion people, with the possibility of generating enormous wealth on the continent.”
Minister Mushikiwabo also believes that AfCFTA is a flagship project of Agenda 2063.
“The AfCFTA is one of our key milestones, a critical initiative that has the ability to bring about the social and economic changes that Africa has been envisioning for decades.”
She added: “ With the AfCTA-related agreements before us, we are now well armed to improve our social structures, improve the livelihoods of even our poorest communities, and develop regional and continental value chains to ensure prosperity and wellbeing for our people.”
She emphasized that this Agreement plans was set to make Africa an attractive destination for inward and foreign investment.
On his speech, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, urged countries to sign the AfCFTA and show their responsibility in this, take measures to be part of the free movements and trade.
“One question that looks at us is that can we accept to take the risks together or individually? At the time when the rest of the world is getting together but to forge ahead, we have to overcome our fears and we project to the world the united Africa” he said.
The meeting precedes the African Union (AU) Extra Ordinary Heads of State Summit on Continental Free Trade Area, where twenty-six (26) heads of State have confirmed attendance.
Heads of State will sign an agreement that will launch the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The Express News