Plans for creation of Africa Free Trade Area push on as continent battles COVID

President Cyril Ramaphosa chaired Saturday's virtual meeting attended by several heads of state.

President Cyril Ramaphosa address the United Nations on 21 September 2020. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN – African Union (AU) chair, President Cyril Ramaphosa, on Saturday said plans for the creation of the Africa Free Trade Area were momentarily disrupted by the devastating coronavirus pandemic.

But as the continent continued to battle the public health crisis, its leaders were determined to remain firmly on the path of progress.

He chaired the 13th AU Summit, attended by several heads of state and government, that was hosted virtually.

“We have shown what we as Africans are capable of achieving when we stand united. Let us, in the same spirit of unity and solidarity, take forward the coming into effects of the (African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)) and drive the post-pandemic economic recovery efforts.”

It agreed on revised instruments, schedules of tariff concessions and rules of origin for the Continental Free Trade Area to come into effect on 1 January.

Ramaphosa says ministers had worked hard remotely to reach agreement.

Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.