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SA signs agreement on free trade within Africa

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday said he was excited that the country has joined the community of nations that have signed.

The African head of states and government gathering in Mauritius for the African Union summit. Picture: @_AfricanUnion/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN – South Africa has joined almost 50 other African states in signing an agreement that would lead to free trade on the continent.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday said he was excited that the country has joined the community of nations that have signed.

It’s still a long road to go, but the continent is a step closer to realising its free trade dream, with five more countries signing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement at the 31st African Union summit currently underway.

South Africa, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Lesotho and Burundi have joined the 44 countries that signed the agreement in Kigali three months ago.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the nitty-gritty needed to be put into place before it was commercially viable.

The agreement will go to Parliament before South Africa can ratify the agreement.

Six countries have so far ratified it, with 16 more to go before the continental free trade area could become a reality.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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