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MAN urges FG to examine trade conditions — AfCFTA

MAN urges FG to examine trade conditions — AfCFTA

African Heads of State and Government as well other African leaders are expected to start arriving in the country today ahead of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement signing due on Wednesday.

"As far as Nigeria is a net importing country of goods and services, we are not technologically advanced and we have a large population, Nigeria will be a dumping ground for goods and services", he said.

They have to work to establish the administrative, legal and logistic structures, emphasized Mushikiwabo at the 18th Meeting of the Executive Council which began in Kigali, Rwanda's capital, as a part of the Extraordinary Summit of AU and AfCTFA.

Among the topics to feature at the business summit include; diversification of African commodities, opportunities for one market, jobs, women and youth empowerment, reducing cost of doing business, and financing trade.

African officials and experts also said there could still be challenges facing the operation of the AfCFTA. This is a historical commitment that has lasted nearly 40 years, and it represents a step forward for African unity and integration, stated for his part the Pro-Tempore Head of AU and Rwanda's President Paul Kagame.

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The meeting is scheduled to consider the draft agenda and draft programme work of the Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU on March 21.

Obasanjo also stressed the importance of intra-African trade for Africa's economic development.

The agreement would establish the world's largest free trade area through an agreement that covers the trade of goods and services, investments and intellectual property rights. This, according to the African Union (AU), will pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the Continental Customs Union and the African Customs Union.

It also aims at boosting intra-trade, as trade among African countries accounts for only 13 percent of Africa's total trade, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa said previous year.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission urged the Ministers of Foreign Affairs to adopt a Common Position on the Cotonou Agreements so that the continent should speak with one voice during trade agreements with partners taking into account the concerns and interest of the African people.