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By Khalifa Hemed
Published November 25, 2018

African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) imitiative is a unique opportunity to promote eastern African regional integration.African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) initiative is a unique opportunity to promote eastern African regional integration.

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Participants drawn from 14 countries who attended a three-day conference in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, stressed that the implementation of AfCFTA will create opportunities to consolidate domestic markets, strengthen regional value chains and enhance export competitiveness.

Though 49 countries have signed the agreement establishing the continental free trade area, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) is supporting African countries on the implementation of AfCFTA, says only 12 have ratified it. At least 10 more ratifications are required by March 2019 to enable it go into force.

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It is envisaged that AfCFTA,  a trade agreement among 44 African Union member states signed in Kigali, Rwanda on March 21, 2018, will lead to the creation of a single market, free movement of people, goods and services, and a single monetary union.

African Heads of States and Governments after the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area in Kigali, Rwanda, in March 2018.

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