Economic 'game changer'? African leaders launch free-trade zone

Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari signs an agreement ahead of the lauching of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), during African Union summit in Niamey, Niger July 7, 2019.

The President signed the agreement at exactly 10:48 am local time, making Nigeria the 53rd state on the continent to append its signature to the document.

The core mandate of the Secretariat will be to implement the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, which has since been ratified by 25 member states.

Garba Shehu, his spokesman, in a statement last Wednesday, said the president would be signing the Phase one of the agreement in the course of his attendance at the Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the African Union and 12th Extraordinary Summit on AfCFTA in Niamey, Niger Republic in a few days.

As the largest economy on the continent, Nigeria's decision to sign the deal was a boost to the pact.

However, it changed course shortly before the deal was signed previous year following pressure from local unions and businesses that feared they would be uncompetitive if trade barriers are removed. "It's about time we started trading more with each other", she said.

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

Pakistan unable to pull off ‘miracle’ win
I have been dropped many times, I missed a few years of global cricket and have been around for 20 years, Malik said. I had planned this few years ago to retire on Pakistan's last World Cup match.

"Only the Southern African Development Community (SADC) (from 3.6 per cent of GDP in 1995 to 5.7 per cent in 2014) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) (from 0.8 per cent in 1995 to 1.9 per cent in 2014) have seen substantial increases in the share of intra-regional trade in GDP", the report indicated.

Nigeria had been a key backer of the plan to progressively reduce trade barriers on the continent since talks on the African Continental Free Trade Area got underway in 2002.

Both Presidents signed the agreement to applause at the summit in Niamey, the Nigerien capital, where the zone will officially be launched.

Mr Gwenzi said AfCFTA involved opening up of trade in goods and services to the rest of Africa.

The heated debate in Accra failed to institute the Union Government but the heads of state agreed to accelerate political and economic integration, strengthen the organs and institutions of the AU and then set a timeframe to establish a Union Government with the involvement of Africans and the diaspora.

The AfCFTA will create a single continental market for goods and services; enhance free movement of business persons and investments; enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level through exploiting opportunities for full-scale production.

The summit also saw the launch of a digital payments system for the zone and instruments that will govern rules of origin and tariff concessions, as well as monitor and seek to eliminate non-tariff obstacles to trade, the African Union said.

Related News:



Most liked

Greeks vote as leftist Syriza party's days in power seem numbered
It has also promised to be tough on crime in some neighbourhoods of Athens where there is a strong anarchist movement. The difference between New Democracy and Syriza may increase, the experts assume.

Women's World Cup could go to 32 teams
Infantino has, however, pledged to introduce two new women's competitions: a Club World Cup and league for nations between World Cups.

Government reduces GST on electric vehicles
The first Budget of the second Modi government appeared to be of a continuum of the last with an emphasis on social welfare. Much of the allocations for farmers was done in February's interim budget including the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi.

Licking Ice Cream In Walmart Could Get You 20 Years in Prison
Meanwhile, Blue Bell, a company that has seen its fair share of bad press, is once again in the spotlight. You can call it Flu Bell ice cream now 'cause I was a lil sick last week.

UK Conservative members sent more than one ballot in leadership vote
Mr Johnson promised a "relentless focus" on knife crime and criticised the 2014 measures on stop and search brought in by Mrs May. Members are warned that voting twice will mean they are expelled, the Conservatives said.

Chelsea confirm Morata sale to Atletico
The hope was that he would deliver much more, with Chelsea having snapped him up as a replacement for Diego Costa. Morata joined Chelsea from Real Madrid in 2017 and scored 24 times in 72 appearances for the London club.

FDA Issues Warning About Possible Salmonella in Some Pig Ear Dog Treats
They have identified some strains in the treats, but it is unclear whether those are the same strains causing the infection. Pet Supplies Plus advised customers who purchased the recalled pig ear treats to discard them.

Nick Kyrgios brother calls Rafael Nadal 'f****** p****' after Wimbledon showdown
The world No 2 responded by holding a death stare at Kyrgios for a good five seconds. When he leaped into the air having won the third set, the whole atmosphere changed.

United States says latest Taliban talks 'most productive' so far
But Washington has made it clear the Taliban must talk with the Afghan government if they wish to seal a peace deal. Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban's office in Qatar, said they were also pleased with the discussions.

Barcelona president: 'We know that Neymar wants to leave PSG'
The youngster has been at The Hawthorns since he was six, and was said to be a shoe-in for progression to the first-team. According to him, he considered Barcelona's Ousmane Dembélé "better than Neymar".

Migrant ship disembarks in Italy despite Salvini ban
Meanwhile, Italy said it will take 55 migrants now in Malta off the Maltese authorities' hands. They applauded as they docked on Saturday afternoon.

Netflix to cut smoking in future original programming
Other shows highlighted for tobacco use in the Truth Initiative's report were ABC's Modern Family and Amazon's Marvelous Mrs. A spokesperson for Truth Initiative did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment .

Juggernaut vs. new kid as USA takes on the Netherlands
Lieke Martens will have a fitness test on the morning of the Women's World Cup final between Netherlands and the United States. The U.S., ranked No. 1 in the world, have now appeared in five of the eight championship matches in Women's World Cup history.

Salmonella outbreak linked to pig ear dog treats, the CDC warns
Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after handling pet food or treats, including pig ears. Thirty-four (89%) of 38 ill people reported contact with a dog before getting sick.

White House considering 'every option' for adding citizenship question to census
President Donald Trump talks during a signing ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on July 1, 2019. A group of states including NY and immigrant rights organizations challenged the legality of the citizenship question.