Home NewsInternational AfCFTA UPDATE: Emotional Moment As 50 Countries Sign Free Trade Area Deal In Kigali

AfCFTA UPDATE: Emotional Moment As 50 Countries Sign Free Trade Area Deal In Kigali

by Dan Ngabonziza & Oswald Niyonzima
2:44 pm

Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission celebrates the signing of AfCFTA

This morning March 21, 2018, African leaders, right from President Paul Kagame – the Chairman of the African Union, African Union Commission Chairman, Mousa Faki Mahamat as well as President of Niger – Mahamadou Issoufou recalled the years as if it was yesterday.

The leaders and the entire African continent paid tribute to the unique African son – former President of Ghana Nkwame Nkrumah, who launched the Pan African movement that later gave birth to the current African Union.

Today, the leaders had reasons to recall Nkwameh Nkrumah as history was being made.

According to President of Mahamadou Issoufou, the Champion of the African Continental Free Trade Area, 44 countries signed the historic Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) – an agreement that officially made Africa an open one single market for all Africans.

Participants sing the African Union Anthem

Moreover, 43 countries also signed the Kigali declaration while 27 countries signed the protocol of the free movement of people.

All agreements considered however, 50 countries signed either of them.

It was a long journey – right from the Abuja Treaty in 1991, which set foot for the current AfCFTA.

At exactly 12 noon Kigali time, the President of Niger moved forward from the upfront executive seat and sat on the lower seat to sign the agreement.

Madagascar – Henry Rabary Njaka, Minister of Foreign Affairs at the signing

Niger President was followed by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and the Chairman of the African Union.

Other countries including; Tchad, Angola, Central African Republic, comoros; Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Ghana, Gambia; Gabon, Kenya, Mozambique; Saharawi Republic, Senegal, South Africa; Sudan, Mauritania, Zimbabwe, Morocco, Swaziland, Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Mali, DRC, Uganda; Togo, Benin, South Sudan, Liberia, Somalia, Sao Tome & Principle; Equatorial Guinea, Lesotho also signed.

Three documents were signed including the establishment of Continental Free Trade Area, the Protocol of the Free Movement of People and the Kigali Declaration.


Janet Thompson March 22, 2018 - 11:18 am


Bob March 22, 2018 - 12:03 pm

Congs to African leaders but why did Nigeria( an Africa economic giant) refrain from signing? It s a historical moment.

ak Muhizi March 22, 2018 - 11:20 pm

I’m happy to have lived to witness this historical moment which will allow African to be able to enjoy The fruits of such a vast and wonderful continent such as ours both economically and leisure!

Sunday-Joseph Otengho March 23, 2018 - 12:28 pm

Africa is coming of age!! Congratulations to the leaders who are willing to break the yoke colonial boarders that entrapped our people and marginalized the entire continent. Patrice Kumumba can say again, he sat in chains “Do not cry for me my love. One day history will have its say. Not the history they teach in Brussels, Paris or Washington, but our history. That new AFRICA.”

Harriet Harper March 24, 2018 - 9:21 am

More and more. good, is coming out of Africa United. The best is yet to come. I now have hope for our future generations – leaders in Africa.

Lyson Baloyi March 24, 2018 - 3:13 pm

It is a good move, but is Africa ready to open it’s borders from a security and economic point of view?

Rohan Wiltshire April 7, 2018 - 9:44 pm

African units for the betterment of her people, those at home and here in the diaspora, one love

Ben June 10, 2018 - 3:02 pm

This is the history that I will forever remember!

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