Kigali – Morocco signed an agreement that will launch the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) at the Extraordinary Summit of the African Union (AU) held in Kigali.
The agreement was signed by Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani, who leads the Moroccan delegation to the AU Summit.
Speaking at the opening of the summit, AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat urged African heads of state and government to sign this landmark agreement.
“The moment is no longer one for hesitation, so I call on all states to sign and ratify without delay the agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area,” he said, noting that AUC is to see this agreement come into force before the end of the year.
“In view of its repercussions on the entire African continent, economic integration thus responds not only to an aspiration born of Pan-Africanism, but also to a practical imperative linked to the economic viability of the continent,” said Moussa Faki Mahamat.
The signing of this agreement represents a major step forward and another milestone for African integration and unity.
The Free Trade Area will result in the establishment of a market of over 1.2 billion people, with a combined gross product of over USD 3 trillion.
It will also boost intra-African trade by 52 percent by 2022, paving the way for the establishment of a customs union within four years and an African economic community in 2028.
The AfCFTA is a flagship project of Agenda 2063, the African Union’s long-term vision for an integrated, prosperous, and peaceful Africa.