Connect with us

Business News

African leaders sign pact to open borders for traders

More than 40 nations signed the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, which commits governments to removing tariffs on 90% of goods and phasing in the rest in future

Published

on

President Uhuru Kenyatta signs the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement in Kigali, Rwanda

African leaders signed accords setting up a continental free-trade area that’s expected to boost commerce within the 55-member African Union and eventually supplant a patchwork of existing agreements.

More than 40 nations signed the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, or AfCFTA, which commits governments to removing tariffs on 90% of goods and phasing in the rest in future. The agreements will still require ratification by the individual governments and will only come into force when ratified by at least 22 countries.

“The promise of free trade and free movement is prosperity for all Africans, because we are prioritising the production of value-added goods and services that are Made in Africa,” Rwandan President Paul Kagame said before the leaders began signing the agreements. “The advantages we gain by creating one African market will also benefit our trading partners around the world.”

Intra-Africa trade stands at about 16% of the continent’s total, compared with 19% in Latin America and 51% in Asia, according to the AU. The agreement could increase this by half for Africa, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa estimates.

Three regional groups on the continent — the Common Market for East and Southern Africa, the Eastern African Community and the Southern African Development Community — signed an agreement in June 2015 to create a trade bloc covering 26 countries as a precursor to the continental grouping. A week later, members of the AU started talks for the establishment of the continent-wide free trade area.

READ: Matiang’i backs Waititu, orders all bars closed

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, which together with South Africa makes up half of the continent’s gross domestic product, canceled his trip to Kigali, saying his government needs more time for input from local businesses before he can sign the pact. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his Burundi counterpart, Pierre Nkurunziza, also skipped the gathering.


Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

BAKE Awards 2018 Nomination Badge

News Updates

Media Profile22 hours ago

Betty Kyallo: Just petty or real drama queen?

If fame has followed her as she rose through the ranks, so has controversy, the latest being the beef with former...

NEWS22 hours ago

Kenyan woman makes it to TIME 100 list for 2018

Nice Nailantei Leng'ete was named among the world's Most Influential Persons in the world for her crusade against Female Genital...

NEWS1 day ago

MP Shah Hospital under fire over ‘exorbitant’ bill

Kenyans on social media are unhappy after hospital billed a family of a woman who was stabbed by thugs and...

NEWS1 day ago

Baringo South MP Grace Kipchoim is dead

She is credited for being in the forefront in fighting outdated cultural practices, including cattle rustling and female genital mutilation...

Business Unusual1 day ago

Jobless young women turn to sex for money

Report shows that within an overall pattern of a system rigged against youth, there are worse prospects of accessing decent...

Education2 days ago

Is Kirubi company buying Daystar University?

The university was closed last week after students refused to return to class, protesting failure to release a report on...

Health2 days ago

Insurers issue warning as healthcare costs overrun inflation

According to Minet Kenya, while the medical insurance industry recorded a growth of 0.65% in gross premiums, claims incurred over...

Careers3 days ago

How to join university with D+ and get a degree

There is a one-year programme that enables students to progress to diploma then proceed to the professional qualification and onto...

NEWS3 days ago

10 million youth ready to leave Kenya

British Council report says many young people frustrated by corruption and a ‘rigged system’ that have resulted in high unemployment

Education3 days ago

Kenya to host global education conference

The event will gather Ministers of Education from the 54 African countries, as well as UN agencies, NGOs, and high...

Advertisement

Trending