44 African countries sign deal to establish free trade area but deal has to be ratified at a national level

nsnbc : Forty-four African countries have signed an agreement establishing a free trade area. The area is seen as vital for the continent’s economic development, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, head of the African Union on Wednesday. The agreement still has to be ratified at a national level.

Africa Free Trade, Mozambique, Mar 2018“The agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) was signed by 44 countries,” said Moussa Faki Mahamat.

The creation of the free trade area comes after two years of negotiations, and is one of the African Union’s flagship projects for greater African integration. The not entirely uncontroversial deal will still have to be ratified at a national level and it is only due to come into force in 180 days.

The AU has not yet published the full list of countries which did sign but Nigeria is absent. President Muhammadu Buhari pulled Nigeria out of this week’s launch in Rwanda saying he needed more time for consultations at home.

Nigeria, one of Africa’s largest markets, hesitated after objections from business leaders and unions, a sign that getting the deal through scores of national parliaments may face several hurdles.

“Some countries have reservations and have not finalized their national consultations. But we shall have another summit in Mauritania in July where we expect countries with reservations to also sign,” said Albert Muchanga, the AU Commissioner for Trade and Industry.

F/AK – nsnbc 22.03.2018

Source Article from https://nsnbc.me/2018/03/22/88173/

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