Free trade must be fair, says Buhari — AfCFTA

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"President Buhari today signed the AfCFTA for Nigeria at the 12th AU Extraordinary Summit in Niamey, Niger", Nigeria's Trade Ministry tweeted.

"The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is Africa's only regional economic community among the highest-performing regional trade agreements worldwide in 2013 (sixth out of 32; Africa's other regional economic communities fall in the bottom half)", the UNECA study showed.

From free trade to climate change and migration, African countries and regional organizations are developing progressive policies that demonstrate global responsibility and forge a new path for multilateralism and sustainability, Ms. Mohammed said.

Buhari also congratulated Ghana on being selected to host the Secretariat of the AfCFTA.

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday, July 6, departed Nigeria for Niamey, the capital of Niger Republic for the African Union (AU) summit holding in the country.

However, "the ministers of trade have accepted, so naturally, you would expect that the head of states will".

The launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), 17 years in the making, will be the major focus at the AU summit.

"That is, goods and services made locally with dominant African content in terms of raw materials and value addition".

Rwanda's private sector has also been given a platform to showcase its products, attract investments and financing during the Intra-African Trade Fair which will take place in Kigali from 1-7 September 2020.

The President delayed had earlier delayed the signing to give room from what he described as extensive consultations with stakeholders.

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Eritrea, according to the presidency is the only African country yet to sign the agreement.

The inclusion of Benin in the agreement was announced by the Commissioner for Trade and Industry for the African Union. There is a benchmark number of countries which have ratified the treaty for it to come into force, end of May.

AU commission chairman Moussa Faki dubbed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) deal a "historic" moment.

After four years of talks, an agreement to form a 55-nation trade bloc was reached in March, paving the way for yesterday's African Union (AU) summit in Niger.

"AfCFTA will reinforce our negotiating position on the worldwide stage".

"We have, today, taken very important steps towards working with a common voice and a common objective to exploit the abundant wealth and resources of our great continent for the benefit of all our peoples".

The continent has missed out on the economic booms that other trade blocs have experienced in recent decades.

These challenges include poor road infrastructures, political strife, border bureaucracy, and wide-spread corruption.

Malawi's director of trade, Christina Chatima, told AFP the trade agreement as a "game changer for Africa".