NAIROBI, 22 March 2018, (PSCU) — President Uhuru Kenyatta today said Africa is on the path of economic success after the realisation by its leaders that there is more to gain from unity than isolation.
Speaking a day after 44 African countries signed up for a treaty that creates an Africa-wide free trade area, President Kenyatta said Africa is set to realise a change in fortunes resulting from increased intra-Africa trade.
The President spoke at State House, Nairobi, when he held a meeting with Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland.
President Kenyatta said the fact that the new trade deal has gained quick acceptance among the overwhelming majority is because Africans have come to the realisation that it is better to unite for shared benefit.
“We have come to the realisation that we can grow together and that it is common sense to unite for our betterment,” said the President.
On Wednesday, President Kenyatta was among Heads of State and Government who gathered in Kigali, Rwanda, to sign the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which is aimed at increasing intra-Africa trade.
He said increasing intra-Africa trade will create more business opportunities for the people of the continent and would make sure that no region is left behind in Africa’s growth.
“The stars are lining up and a momentum is building up for Africa. We are realising that we are stronger together,” said the President.
He said Kenya has already recorded high business proposals from within Africa including from countries like Egypt and Nigeria, a trend that supports the framework for the new free trade pact.
The Commonwealth Secretary-General praised the free trade deal saying that she expects Africa will gain from the open borders deal which is also seen as a realisation of the Pan-African dream.
The President and Ms Scotland discussed ways in which the Commonwealth can support member countries in legal reforms.
Ms Scotland informed the President that the Commonwealth Secretariat has set up a new office — office of civil and criminal justice reforms — to handle the task.
She said the office will help member countries to share best practices in areas they have excelled in because no country can boast of best experience in every field.
“Every country has a brilliant idea about some issues but no country can boast of brilliant ideas about everything. The office of civil and legal reform will help in the sharing of proven successes,” said Ms Scotland.
The meeting was attended by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua.