Buhari Cancels Trip To Rwanda
President Muhammadu Buhari has cancelled his trip to Kigali, Rwanda, where he was expected to attend the Extraordinary Summit of the African Union scheduled for March 21, 2018.
The Federal Executive Council had on Wednesday, approved for the President to sign the framework agreement for establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area.
But a statement signed on Sunday by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tope Adeleye, noted that certain key stakeholders in Nigeria indicated that they had not been consulted, and therefore had some concerns on the provisions of the treaty.
Consequently, the development was to allow more time for broader consultations and input from the stakeholders.
All leaders of Africa’s 55 countries are expected at the event in Kigali.
The AfCFTA will make the continent the largest free trade area created since the formation of the World Trade Organisation.
The launch will take place at an Extraordinary Meeting of the Heads of State of the African Union convened by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, the new Chairperson of the AU who said of the AfCFTA: “This is a historic pact which has been nearly 40 years in the making, and it represents a major advance for African integration and unity.”
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki, says the African Continental Free Trade Area will also strengthen Africa’s position in global trade.
“AfCFTA will make Africa one of the largest economies in the world and enhance its capacity to interact on equal terms with other international economic blocs.”
On the 20th of March, a day before the signing, government delegations will join Africa’s top business leaders and other stakeholders to exchange views on the continent’s economic transformation through trade at a special day of celebration and dialogue called the AfCFTA Business Summit.