Top largest economies of Africa have joined their fellow African Union member countries to sign the historic African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Kigali which is expected to increase flow of goods and movement of people on the continent.
As it has been whispered, Nigeria, African largest economy with $ 594.257 billion GDP is absent on the list of signatories.
President Mohammadu Buhari of Nigeria withdrew from attending the meeting at the last minute citing needs to do more consultations of his constituency.
“As Africa’s largest economy and most populous country, we are committed to ensuring that all trade agreements we sign are beneficial to the long-term prosperity of the continent,” Buhari wrote on his tweet – March 19th.
“We are therefore widening and deepening domestic consultations on the CFTA, to ensure that all concerns are respectfully addressed. Any African Free trade agreement must Fairly and Equitably represent the interest of Nigeria, and indeed, her African brothers and sisters.”
South Africa, second largest economy on the list of https://naijaquest.com with $341.216 billion was quick to sign. President Cyril Ramaphosa had earlier expressed South Africa’s interest to be part of the free trade area, and even, the free movement people.
“How can you allow free trade and close the doors to free movement of people? It goes hand in hand,” he said during a panel where he also talked the issue of visa which had been hampering free movement of people from Rwanda to South Africa.
He said the problem is already placed in the basket of ‘Solved.’
Meanwhile, recent entrant of the African Union, Morocco did not want to go back home without signing any document.
The signed what they found most important – the AfCFTA and left the Kigali declaration and the protocol on free movement of people for another occasion.