Continental Free Trade Area Negotiating Forum 2017
Continental Free Trade Area Negotiating Forum

Rwanda has become the third African country to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), according to an African Union (AU) statement on Sunday.

The statement said Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on Saturday received from Rwanda’s Foreign Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, the instruments of ratification of the agreement on the AfCFTA and the protocol on free movement of persons and the African passport.

Rwanda’s ratification of the AfCFTA followed Ghana and Kenya, and it became the first to ratify the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and the African Passport.

Faki has commended Rwanda for this important step, which is a further illustration of its leaders’ commitment to the goals and ideals of the AU.

The chairperson has urged member states that have not yet done so to take the required steps to become parties to both the AfCFTA and the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and the African Passport.

AfCFTA is seen as vital for Africa’s economic development and its integration, facilitating free movement of people, goods, and services within the continent.

In March, 44 AU member states signed the AfCFTA during the AU extraordinary summit in Kigali, Rwanda.

A minimum of 22 countries’ ratification are needed for the AfCFTA to come into force, which will bring together 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of more than 2 trillion U.S. dollars. Enditem

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