President Paul Kagame has said that Nigeria is fully supportive of the just signed Africa Continental Free Trade Area despite missing out on the signing list.
Kagame made the pronouncement while addressing the press shortly after the closing of the AU Extra Ordinary Summit.
This afternoon, 50 African countries signed the historic Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) – an agreement that will create a single African market.
But Nigeria – the continent’s economic powerhouse, issued a statement distancing itself from the Kigali signing.
Nigeria’s stand was perceived by analysts and members of the media as a stumbling block to the success of the signed agreement.
However, President Kagame, during a post-signing press conference, disagreed with this version. The President announced that in fact, Nigeria has been an active participant throughout the process to create AfCFTA.
He said that Nigeria is a part of the bigger market that they have created under the AfCFTA, and everyone wants Nigeria to be part of it.
“Some.countries may have internal issues to address going forward, not that they don’t want to be part of the CFTA but there are certain steps that have to be completed country to country. People may want to understand things through certain ways and procedures,” Kagame said.
In this context, for Nigeria to sign on the CFTA, Kagame said, “I think it’s a question of time and how fast they address things they feel they should address before they make full pronouncement as to what position they ultimately want vis avis this historic event we have witnessed today.”
“Let’s respect their view and their position. I know they are with the rest of Africa,” Kagame added.