KIGALI, Rwanda, 21 March 2018 (PSCU) – President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for expeditious implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) treaty that was signed in Kigali, Rwanda today.
The President said the landmark treaty offers Africa a competitive edge by creating a united economic bloc that will boost trade across the continent and help create an African value chain.
It will also accelerate the growth of Africa’s Small and Medium Enterprises and power industrialization, he said.
President Kenyatta was among Heads of State and Government who led delegations from 54 countries who attended an African Union (AU) Summit in Kigali where the AfCFTA pact was signed by 44 State parties.
The AfCFTA pact aims to establish a single liberalized market that will spur industrialization, infrastructural development, economic diversification and trade across the continent that is home to some 1.2 billion people.
The pact also seeks to promote industrial growth through diversification, regional value chain development, agricultural development and food security.
In a statement read on his behalf by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Monica Juma, President Kenyatta said the new trade agreement will engender the growth of African multinationals, placing the continent at par with other Free Trade Areas in the world.
The President urged all African States to sign and ratify the new agreement so that the continent can move together towards the realization of the Pan African vision of an “integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa” as envisioned in the AU’s Agenda 2063.
“I am privileged to sign the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area on behalf of the Republic of Kenya because I firmly believe in our shared destiny and in the fulfilment of the African dream,” President Kenyata said.
The President termed the occasion as a historic moment and thanked all the chief negotiators and technical experts who made the African dream towards the new treaty to be a reality.
President Kenyatta later in the evening left Kigali for Nairobi.
He was seen off at the Kigali International Airport by Kenya’s Ambassador to Rwanda Amb. John Mwangemi alongside senior government officials from Rwanda.
The plane carrying President Kenyatta departed Kigali International Airport shortly after 6.00 pm (Kenya Time).