History will be made on March 21st 2018, when Africa’s single market comes into existence.
His Excellency President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, the Chairperson of the African Union, and His Excellency Mr Moussa Faki, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, will convene an extraordinary meeting of the Heads of State and Government of the continent in Kigali, Rwanda, to formally launch the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The launch of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a major step towards regional integration. It will involve the AUC, the private sector, academia and civil society and will provide a Pan-African platform for promoting and enhancing multi-stakeholder trade policy advocacy and dialogue consistent with the goals of the BIAT (the adopted theme of ‘Boosting Intra-African Trade‘) and the AfCFTA.
The AfCFTA launch affords the AUC the opportunity to debate and exchange views on the continent’s economic transformation through trade with a wide range of key stakeholders. According to the findings of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the AfCFTA is expected to increase intra-African trade by 52% by 2022. The project aims to bring together a total of 55 states in a free trade area across the continent.
Ahead of the launch, on March 20th, is the first ever ‘AfCFTA Business Summit’. The summit will be the platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue on the future of the AfCFTA. This invigorating day will involve speeches, Davos-style discussion panels, and presentations. The AfCfTA Business Summit will be attended by high-level government officials including Heads of States, representatives from the private sector, civil society, academia, parliamentarians, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), development partners and the media. The event provides an ideal framework for stakeholder mobilization to harness the opportunities offered by the AfCFTA agenda. It is also the ideal opportunity to gather the input and aspirations of the private sector towards the integrating Africa’s economies.
Following the AfCFTA Business Summit Heads of States will gather on March 21 to officially sign into existence the African Continental Free Trade Area.