The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has congratulated African leaders for what he described as ‘‘taking the leap into history’’ by signing the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) to create one of the world’s largest trading blocs with over 50 countries.
At the 10th Extraordinary African Union Summit in Kigali on Wednesday, 44 countries signed the free trade area agreement, 27 signed the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, Right to Residence and 43 accepted the idea of creating Africa’s one market by signing Kigali Declaration.
“I salute the leadership of President Paul Kagame of Rwanda [chairperson of African Union], President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger champion of CFTA adoption process) and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat, who led the process,” Guterres said in a statement.
According to the UN chief, the deal is an important step towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and delivering on the African agenda of peace and prosperity.
“With the Joint African Union-United Nations Agreement for the implementation of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as our common framework , the entire United Nations family stands ready to support the continent as it forges forward the entry into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area in the coming months.”