44 member countries of AU have signed the legal instruments of the African Continental Free Trade Area, Kigali Protocol and Free Movement Protocol.
Before signing President Kagame said that this is not just a signing ceremony but deliberations are critically important.
President Kagame said: “The advantages we gain by creating one African market will also benefit our trading partners around the world, and that is a good thing.”
Kagame added that The promise of free trade and free movement is prosperity for all Africans, because Africans are prioritizing the production of value-added goods and services that are “Made in Africa.
Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat emphasized that Signing intentions by Member States go way beyond their expectations.
He said:”Extremely proud that more than 40 are now expected and currently in progress.”
Heads of State have gathered in Kigali for the 10th Extraordinary Summit of the AU to consider the legal instruments of AfCTA.
AfCTA is aimed at deepening African economic integration, promoting agricultural development, food security, industrialisation and structural economic transformation through single-air continental transport market with free movement of persons, capital, goods and services.
It could boost intra-regional trade, which remains far lower than in developing Asian countries. Intra-African trade has increased in recent years to 15 percent of total trade from 11 percent in 2008, but overall levels remain lower than those recorded by other developing regions before the global financial crisis.
AU chairperson and Rwanda President Paul Kagame on Tuesday gave a strong indication yet that member states will sign the treaty to create the continental free trade area even if the continent’s most-populated country, Nigeria, withdraws from the meeting.
The Express News