President Kagame says Africa set to gain from AfCFTA

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame is confident Africa stands to gain through the recently established African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA).

The 61-year-old expressed this at the 2019 European Development Days (EDD) which is taking place in the Belgian city of Brussels.

“It is more imperative than ever that developing countries take more effective lead of their general development agenda, as well as raising the level of prosperity. It is not something that can be done by external actors alone,” Kagame said.

The AfCFTA is scheduled to officially enter into force during the next Extra-Ordinary Heads of State and Government summit slated for 7th July 2019 in Niamey, Niger.

The agreement is expected to create a market for over one billion people, with a GDP of approximately US$2.6 trillion.

The decision to establish the AfCFTA was initially arrived at in the 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in January 2012, with a tentative launch date of 2017.

The 2019 EDD meeting is President Kagame’s third attendance, having participated in the 2017 and 2018 editions.