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23rd July 2018

Sierra Leone Leader Signs African Free Trade Agreement at the AU in Mauritania 

By a press release (05/07/18)

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement has taken a giant leap to realisation at the just-ended African Union Summit in Mauritania. 


Reports say on Sunday July 1st, the Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio, together with other African leaders, have signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement at the 31st Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly in Nouakchott, the Mauritanian capital. (Photo: President Bio,centre, at the AU summit).

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement which was tabled by the Legal Counsel of the African Union Commission, Ambassador Dr. Namira Negm, would break the cross-border trade barriers for productive economic activities among African countries.

The signing of the Continental Free Trade Agreement is part of the ambitious agenda to ensure that all African nations have access to the continental market as well as to use trade and investment as oxygen for economic revitalisation.

One of the objectives of the Continental Free Trade Agreement is to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, and thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the Continental Customs Union and the African customs union. Also, the Free Trade Agreement will look at expanding intra-African trade through better harmonization and coordination of trade liberalization and facilitation regimes and instruments across RECs and across Africa in general.

Furthermore, to address some of the challenges at continental integration and competitiveness, two other critical objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement will be: to resolve the challenges of multiple and overlapping memberships and expedite the regional and continental integration processes and to enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level through exploiting opportunities for scale production, continental market access and better reallocation of resources.

The African Free Trade Agreement has created a Continental Free Trade Area which will bring together the fifty-four African countries with a combined population of more than one billion people and a combined gross domestic product of more than US $3.4 trillion.

President Bio’s signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement has demonstrated his commitment to increase Sierra Leone’s trade and investment opportunities within Africa, promote economic diversification and accelerate industrial development through intra-Africa trade.

It is projected that by 2030, Africa may emerge as a $2.5 trillion potential market for household consumption and $4.2 trillion for business-to-business consumption.

Courtesy: State House Media and Communications Unit;+232(88)269282/+232(76)267664


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