HEADLINE Rwanda says confident in adoption of continental free trade area

HEADLINE

Rwanda says confident in adoption of continental free trade area

Xinhua

21:55, March 13, 2018

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KIGALI, March 13  - Rwanda's foreign minister said Tuesday the country has confidence that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will be adopted by "a significant number" of member states of the African Union (AU).

So far 26 heads of state and other heads of government have confirmed their participation on AU's extraordinary summit on the AfCFTA scheduled to be held in Kigali from March 17 to 21, Louise Mushikiwabo said at a press conference in the capital city of Rwanda.

According to the AU, it is expected that the leaders of Africa's 55 countries will sign an agreement that will launch the AfCFTA at the Kigali meeting.

The AfCFTA will make Africa the largest free trade area created since the formation of the World Trade Organization, according to the pan-African bloc.

Mushikiwabo, also the government spokesperson, said the AU reform "is on and irreversible." There have been some reluctance on the part of some countries but the progress is happening, she said.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame took over the chairmanship of the AU during the 30th AU summit in January to lead the supervision of the implementation of AU institutional reforms.

In 2016, African leaders decided that institutional reforms of AU were urgent given the role the AU is expected to play in achieving Africa's Agenda 2063 vision of inclusive economic growth and development.  

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