Presidents applauded for signing Kigali pact


KIGALi, RWANDA- Most Presidents have been applauded by their respective countries for the signing of the Kigali Declaration, as a first step towards establishing a Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA).


It is said this agreement will give effect to a new era of intra-Africa trade and presents significant opportunities for Cape exporters.

One of them is South African President Cyril Ramaphosa who was applauded by the Cape Town based Tourism promotion agency WESGRO.

According to the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the AfCTA is expected to bring together the 55 member states of the AU, establishing a market of more than 1.2 billion people with a gross domestic product (GDP) of US$2.5 trillion. The AfCTFA will be a process of liberalisation of trade and services among member states. The ECA expects the AfCFTA to increase intra-African trade by 52% by 2022.

Tim Harris, Wesgro CEO, said: “This is a historic moment for Africa. The consolidation of the continent into a single and open market holds unprecedented opportunity for intra-Africa trade and investment.

“Africa as a continent is projected to have a population of 2.5 billion and an economy estimated to grow at double the rate of developed economies by 2050. If we work now to position Cape Town and the Western Cape as the gateway to these opportunities, we will benefit from this projected growth, and help ensure our own economy grows inclusively, creating jobs for our citizens."

Harris further stated that the private sector should make the most of the opportunities for stakeholder engagement presented under AfCTFA. “The AfCFTA Business Forum establishes a platform for private sector engagement, with the aim of building partnership between African policymakers and business leaders and ensuring a trade agreement that can be effectively implemented."

Yaw Peprah, Chief Business Officer said: "Africa is a priority market for Western Cape exporters, already the single-biggest market for Cape goods. Wesgro has also been given a mandate to achieve Outward Foreign Direct Investment into the rest of Africa. We look forward to working with the provincial and national government to ensure sufficient representation of Western Cape business and stakeholders in this process."

"Wesgro actively engages with exporters and businesses around opportunities presented by trade agreements, and will be holding information sessions around the AfCFTA" concluded Harris.

Countries that signed Kigali pact

1.Niger – President Mahamadou Issoufou

2.Rwanda – President Paul Kagame

3.Tchad – President Idriss Déby

4.Angola – President João Lourenço

5.Central African Republic – President Faustin-Archange Touadéra

6. Comoros – President Azali Assoumani

7. The Republic of Congo – President Denis Sassou Nguesso

8. Djibouti – President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh

9. Ghana – President Nana Akufo-Addo

10. Gambia – President Adama Barrow

11. Gabon – President Ali Bongo Ondimba

12. Kenya – President Uhuru Kenyatta

13. Mozambique - Filipe Nyusi

14. Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic – President Mohamed Abdelaziz

15. Senegal - Prresident Macky Sall

16. South Africa – President Cyril Ramaphosa

17. Sudan – President Omar al-Bashir

18. Mauritania – President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz

19.Zimbabwe – President Emmerson Mnangagwa

20. Cote D'ivoire – Vice President Daniel Kablan Duncan

21.Seychelles –Vincent Meriton - Vice President

22. Algeria –Ahmed Ouyahia - Prime Minister

23.Equatorial Guinea – Francisco Pascual Obama Asue - Prime Minister

24.Lesotho –  Tom Thabane - Prime Minister

25. Morocco – Saadeddine Othmani - Prime Minister

26. Swaziland - Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini, Prime Minister

27. Tanzania – Kassim Majaliwa, Prime Minister

28.Tunisia - Youssef Chahed, Prime Minister

29.Benin - Aurélien Agbénonci, Minister for Foreign Affairs

30. Burkina Faso - Alpha Barry, Minister for Foreign Affairs

31. Democratic Republic of Congo - Léonard Okitundu, Minister for Foreign Affairs

32. Guinea - Mamadi Touré, Foreign Affairs Minister

33. Liberia - Gbehzohngar Findley, Foreign Affairs Minister

34.Mali – Minister for Foreign Affairs

35. Somalia – Minister for Foreign Affairs

36. South Sudan – Minister for Foreign Affairs

37. Uganda – Sam Kutesa, Minister for Foreign Affairs

38. São Tomé and Príncipe – Cabinet Minister

39. Togo – Minister for Cooperation and Integration

40. Malawi – Emmanuel Fabiano, Foreign Affairs Minister

41. Cameroon – Finance Minister

42.Cape Verde –Tourism, Industry and Energy Minister

43. Libya – Mohamed Taha Siala, Minister of Foreign Affairs

44. Madagascar – Henry Rabary Njaka, Minister of Foreign Affairs

45. Zambia* – Joe Malanji, Minister of Foreign Affairs

46. Egypt – Tarek Kabil, Trade & Industry Minister

47. Mauritius – Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo, Foreign Affairs Minister

48. Ethiopia – Bekele Bulado, Trade Trade

49. Namibia* – Minister of Industrialization

50. Botswana* – Minister for Trade