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He said that the explanation was necessary because the agreement was to be signed in Kigali, Rwanda, on Wednesday but the President did not attend the AU summit.

Forty-four African countries signed the agreement on the AfCFTA during the one-day extraordinary session in Kigali, capital city of Rwanda.

The agreement would establish the world's largest free trade area through an agreement that covers the trade of goods and services, investments and intellectual property rights.

"We created easiPoint to provide for organisations that needed greater reach into the South African market and richer access to its client base", says Ogden.

The African Continental Free Trade Area, which has been in the works for six years, will bring together 55 countries with a combined population of 1.2 billion and GDP of about Sh344.08 trillion.

According to the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the Organization's development arm in the region, the agreement has the potential both to boost intra-African trade by 52.3 per cent by eliminating import duties, and to double this trade if non-tariff barriers are also reduced.

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. At present, only 16% of African trade is with other countries in the continent.

The AfCFTA will induce an increase in intra-African trade of 52% by 2022 and significantly increase Africa's industrial and agricultural exports, according to Mahamat.

In recent years, nations like Ethiopia and Ghana have tried to wean themselves from this cycle by building factories and new infrastructure for local industries, spurring rapid growth.

Reeta Roy, the foundation's chief executive officer, told Reuters they would spend more than $2 billion to create 30 million "dignified jobs" for young people on the continent by 2030.

"However, we hasten to add that Nigeria's national interest should be the primary consideration in the decision to sign-on to such an arrangement" he said.

The pact has not been supported by the rest of the union members, including South Africa and Nigeria.

Consider tariff lines rates along the line of efficiency, sectoral and sub-sectoral preferences that would be most beneficial to Nigerian businesses under the AfCFTA dispensation.

The AfCFTA is part of Africa's plan to promote Intra and Inter-regional trade, economic cooperation and partnership on the continent by 2063.

The AU has set a 2018 deadline for the removal of visa requirements for all African citizens in all African countries.

Songwe seconded this, also urging member states to promptly ratify the AfCFTA, recalling that the agreement will only enter into force once a sufficient number of countries have ratified the agreement.

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