Africa To Establish Continental Free Trade Area, Says Onyeama

African Union Foreign Affairs Ministers/file

By Victor Ernest with agency report

Nigeria’s Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama said on Friday that Africa is on course to actualise its Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).

Onyeama stated this when highlighting issues to be discussed at the 31st Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the 29th African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa.

The theme of the summit is ‘Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in the Youth.’

CFTA

Speaking to NAN on the free trade area, the foreign minister said the CFTA is something the continent’s ”hope to have by the end of this year (2017)”.

”CFTA, financing the AU from 0.2 percent tax levy on import are really the main issues we will discussed extensively.

”So also is the financing of the AU; there is a new financing model, which is also extremely important.”

He further said the issue of peace and conflict in the continent would also be discussed.

According to the minister, the theme of this year’s summit is dedicated to the youth, while a side event has been lined up for youth participation.

”Africa has what we call the youth bulge, and it is really a question of investing on this demography in the continent,” he said.

Champion of corruption

Onyeama disclosed that the body has decided to make President Muhammadu Buhari ‘the champion’ on anti-corruption because of his pedigree and his ”indisputable integrity on corruption issue”.

”We understand in Africa we do have governance challenge and corruption issues and also illicit flow of funds.

”There is a huge African resource that is moving out of the continent.

”President Buhari has been chosen to champion that for next year and that will also be the focus for the AU summit,” Onyeama said.


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