ADDSIA ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua)
-- Kenya and Ghana on Thursday
deposited documents with the African Union (AU) of
ratification toward establishing African continental
free trade area (AfCTFA).
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.
Ghana are the first two countries to ratify the AfCFTA
by their parliaments, and deposit documents of
ratification with the AU.
ratification, it means that the legal instruments that
are signed by the heads of states are now part of
domestic law,” AU Commissioner for Trade and Industry
Albert Muchanga told journalists after a ceremony at the
AU headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.
Commission hopes that in the coming nine to 12 months,
the AfCTFA will be ratified by 22 member states, the
minimum to enable it to come into force, Muchanga said.
commitment of the two countries, the chairperson of the
AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, called on other AU
member states to follow suit.
congratulate Kenya and Ghana for being the first AU
member states to deposit their instruments of
ratification with the AU Commission,” Faki said at the
South African cabinet
approves continental free trade agreement
CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua)
-- The South African cabinet
has approved the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA)
agreement that establishes the common market for Eastern
and Southern Africa, East African Community and Southern
African Development Community, a cabinet spokesperson
said on Thursday.
agreement is going to Parliament for ratification,
Phumla Williams said after a cabinet meeting in Cape
The TFTA is
a key Africa-led project that marks a decisive step to
overcome the continent’s colonial heritage of small
fragmented markets, Williams said.
This will be
achieved by promoting intra-African investments and
attracting more foreign investment into the free trade
area, she said.
As a result
of regional integration efforts and stable economies,
there has been strong growth in intra-African
investments, said Williams.
will boost intra-Africa trade in accordance with the
aspirations of the AU’s Agenda 2063
As part of
Africa’s integration approach, the envisaged AFTA is
designed to combine market integration with industrial
and infrastructure development to address Africa’s
productive capacity and supply side constraints, promote
the diversification of Africa’s export base from
dependence on raw materials to value-added products, as
well as alleviate the chronic infrastructure deficit in
offering an opportunity to create larger economies of
scale, a bigger market and improve the prospects of the
African continent to attract investment, the TFTA will
provide new export opportunities for South African
products and services in West Africa and North Africa.
African government has repeatedly stated that it is
committed to a coordinated strategy to boost
intra-Africa trade and to build an integrated market in
Africa that will see a market of over 1 billion people
with a GDP of approximately 2.6 trillion U.S. dollars.
FTA complements China-
proposed Belt and Road Initiative: officials
By Shiferaw Tadesse ADDIS ABABA
(Xinhua) -- The African
Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) complements the
China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative in facilitating
trade and cooperation among different countries, a
senior African Union (AU) official said here on
and the Belt and Road Initiative are complementary as
both focus on infrastructure development and
connectivity toward facilitating trade and cooperation
among countries, AU Commissioner for Trade and Industry
Albert Muchanga told Xinhua after attending a ceremony
whereby Kenya and Ghana deposited documents with the
(AU) of ratification toward establishing the AfCFTA.
China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative refers to
the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st
Century Maritime Silk Road. It is aimed at achieving
policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and
people-to-people connectivity, building a new platform
for international cooperation, and creating new drivers
of shared development to benefit more countries and
efforts by the African Union toward a continental free
trade area bore fruit in March, when 44 of the AU’s 55
member states of the Pan-African bloc signed the AfCFTA
at an extraordinary summit in Kigali, Rwanda.
Ghana are the first two countries that ratified the
agreement. A minimum of 22 countries are needed for the
AfCFTA to come into force.
commissioner expressed hope that that threshold could be
cleared in the coming nine to 12 months.
complements the Belt and Road Initiative with transport,
telecommunication interlinkages across the continent,
building railways. We are building roads. We are
building airlines (airports). We are also building
communication interlinkages among others,” he said.
2000 saw the initiation of the Forum on China-Africa
Cooperation (FOCAC), a structured cooperation mechanism
between China and African countries on different areas.
host the next FOCAC summit in September.
trade and partnership is increasing, and the upcoming
FOCAC summit would review such cooperation, the AU
Muigai Mwangi, Kenyan ambassador to Ethiopia and
permanent representative to the AU, said African
countries have been enjoying partnership and cooperation
with China, particularly through the FOCAC platform.
under the Belt and Road Initiative, which focuses on
infrastructure development and connectivity among
countries for mutual benefit, helps Africa realize its
integration agenda, the ambassador said.
cooperates with China, focusing on priority projects
that have continental impact, Mwangi said.
instance, you want to develop infrastructure that
connects countries. If you focus on infrastructure that
is within a country, it doesn’t promote integration,”
she said. “So you want cross-border infrastructure that
connects from country to country. That’s when we will be
able to move people, move goods, and thereby attain true