African leaders were in Kigali, this week, to sign a treaty to create the world’s largest single market at the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).
The agreement, signed by more than 40 African nations, is the largest trade pact ever signed since the creation of the World Trade Organisation, Business Daily Africa reported.
“For Africa, after decades of independence, marked by persistent under-development and a marginal place in the international system, the terms of the debate are laid down in almost Manichean terms: Unite or Perish, as Kwame Nkrumah said at the Addis Ababa founding Summit,” African Union Commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat told heads of states and governments at the signing ceremony.
“Our peoples, our business community and our youth, in particular, cannot wait any longer to see the lifting of the barriers that divide our continent, hinder its economic take-off and perpetuate misery, even though Africa is abundantly endowed with wealth,” Mr Mahamat said.
The pact is aimed at growing intra-Africa trade by creating a single market for the entire African continent, which boasts of a cumulative gross domestic product of more than $3.4 trillion.