AfCFTA: Nigeria to become dumping ground for goods, services - economist

Lynette Rowe
March 21, 2018

Kagame was quoted as saying about the agreement: "This is a historic pact which has been almost 40 years in the making, and it represents a major advance for African integration and unity".

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has left Harare for Kigali, Rwanda for an Extraordinary Summit of the African Union which is expected to see the signing of the agreement launching the African Continental Free Trade Area.

The country's highest labour body, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said the move may affect the nation's manufacturing sector and lead to loss of jobs. Intra-Africa trade accounts for a mere 16% of the continent's total trade, compared to more than 70% of intra-regional trade seen in Europe.

The African CFTA is one of the flagship projects of the First Ten-Year Implementation Plan of the AU's Agenda 2063, and aims to deepen the integration process and fast-track the continent's economic growth and development by creating one enormous market.

Buhari was expected to travel to Kigali on Monday, where 53 other African countries gathered to authorize the ACFTA, initiated by the African Union in 2012, with the aim of establishing a unified free trade market for goods and services.

The approval entails that Buhari would have signed the agreement during the extraordinary summit of the African Union holding on Tuesday, March 21.

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The main objectives of the Agreement are to create a single continental market for goods and services and to enhance free movement of business persons and investments.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is joining other African leaders for the inauguration of what is billed as the world's largest free-trade zone, due to take place on Wednesday, when heads of state in the African Union (AU) sign the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

He said the agreement will be a historic pact, which has been almost 40 years in the making, and represents a major advance for African integration and unity.

Critical steps remain in advancing the AfCFTA, said Vera Songwe, Under-Secretary-General of UN and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa. With the AfCFTA, Africa can affirm its position as a global economic power, she added.

This project is among the top priorities in the AU Agenda 2063, which provides for a new vision for Africa's development over the five coming decades.

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