AFRICA (Liberal Tribune): African leaders will gather Sunday in Niger for the African Union (AU) meeting. To sign a landmark free trade deal, and to debate migration crises and impending security on the region.
African leaders to introduce ‘historic’ free business contract
In a “historic” minute for the 55-member union. According to its chairman Moussa Faki, heads of state will legitimately introduce the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) at the two-day conference in Niamey, the Nigerien capital.
The bargain comes after 17 years of tough discussions and was formalized at the finale of April when the settlement had impeded the launch threshold, which needed approval by at least 22 nations.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populated country and major economy, declared this week it would, after all, connect the pact in Niamey, having unpredictably pulled back from the contract previous year.
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Nigeria’s chief trade speaker, Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe, spoke President Muhammadu Buhari would mark the landmark deal, “opening Africa up to rich prospects.”
“We weren’t pulled into this, we are a primary supporter,” Osakwe said AFP. “But it is about measuring how to build it work for Nigeria and certainly the region.”
State trade ministers decided the region should be working from July 2020, African Union Trade and Industry Commissioner Albert Muchanga said AFP, as nations wanted time to adjust to the settled changes.
A certified start date will be fixed by leaders of the state Sunday — with only Eritrea and Benin still to sign the contract.
There are yet key matters that must be pressed out though, such as setting mutual principles to control rules of source for traded goods.