File - Sameh Shoukry - press photo
CAIRO - 9 February 2019: The agreement of the African Continental Free trade Area (AfCFTA) for 55 member states of the African Union may come into force within six months, said Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on the sidelines of the 32nd session of the African Union that will kick off on Sunday in Addis Ababa.
“Only few member states [of the African Union] did not sign the agreement yet. But, we expect that it will come into force within the coming six months. It will be a solid ground for increasing the mutual trade among the African countries,” Shoukry told Extra News T.V.
The AfCFTA, if the agreement is ratified, is believed to be the largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organization. Signed by only 44 of the AU state members in Rowanda on March 21, 2018, the agreement aims to create a single, continental free-tariff market for goods and services.
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CAIRO - 21 January 2019: Egypt is leading the African Union next year, seeking to support a full-scale trade agreement that expected to boost intra-African trade by an estimated 52% by the year 2022. Last week, the government approved an agreement signed in Kigali, Rwanda on March 21, 2018 constituting the legal basis of the African Continental Free trade Area (AfCFTA) and its relevant protocols.
The Foreign Minister said that the African continent has great young caders, who can constitute many achievements through adopting sound governance.
The 32nd session o f the African Summit is working on achieving the African reform plan in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union's Agenda 2063, he added.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi headed on Saturday to Addis Ababa to receive the presidency of the African Union Summit during its 32nd session on Sunday, said Egyptian Presidential Spokesperson Bassam Radi in a statement.
The two-day summit will convene under the slogan of “The Year of Refugees, Returnees, and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacements in Africa.”
Additional reporting by Nourhan Magdi