MAN urges FG to examine trade conditions — AfCFTA


African countries are set to put their signature to an agreement that will launch the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Kigali, Rwanda, today.

"We are afraid that the Rules of Origin cannot be adequately enforced because goods from the European Union can find their way into one of the African countries that have bilateral agreement with the EU".

Based on the summit, the PRC meeting will be followed by the 18th Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council of the AU scheduled on March 19.

Besides, the government said it believed that the agreement will eliminate barriers against Nigeria's products and provide a Dispute Settlement Mechanism for stopping the hostile and discriminatory treatment directed against Nigerian natural and corporate business persons in other African countries. Africa must develop the national schedules for tariff reduction in trade in goods and for priority services, she said at the meeting.

African officials and experts also said there could still be challenges facing the operation of the AfCFTA. "That is an area that is of great concern to us", Jacob said.

The Executive Council works in support of the AU Assembly and reports directly to the Assembly.

Presidents, prime ministers, high-level officials and private-sector stakeholders are all in Rwanda's capital for the AU's 10th extraordinary summit of the heads of state and government.

The Summit is expected to consider and conclude issues related to the AfCFTA and adopt the Agreement on the Establishment of the AfCFTA. This is a historical commitment that has lasted nearly 40 years, and it represents a step forward for African unity and integration, stated for his part the Pro-Tempore Head of AU and Rwanda's President Paul Kagame.

The AfCFTA is aimed at creating a single continental market for goods and services with free movement of businesses and investments.

The AfCFTA will make Africa the largest free trade area in terms of the number of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organization, according to the AU.

The AfCFTA could create an African market of over 1,2 billion people with a GDP of $2,5 trillion, the pan-African bloc said.

The News men reports that the AfCFTA is part of Africa's plan to promote Intra and Inter-regional trade, economic cooperation and partnership on the continent by 2063.