South Africa to host African Continental Free Trade Area summit

South Africa will this year host a summit to finalise the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement protocol of implementation, Cabinet has announced.

This comes after Cabinet congratulated President Ramaphosa on assuming the African Union Chairship on behalf of South Africa.

The President ascended to the post on 9 February during the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Ethiopia.

South Africa was elected in February 2019 as the incoming chair of the AU. The Union, then, agreed that the assumption of the rotational Chairship shall take place on the occasion of the 33rd Ordinary Session.

In a statement, Cabinet said President Ramaphosa will use his role to advance peace and stability, good governance, gender equality and the empowerment of women to grow Africa’s economy.

“Later this year, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement also comes into effect,” read the statement.

This agreement converges into a single market across 54 nations of about 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product of over US$3 trillion.

South Africa, said Cabinet, will also work towards a stable and peaceful Africa under the theme: “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development”.

Cabinet also welcomed the resuscitation of the African Diaspora Agenda, saying the size of the African Diaspora, and the skills and resources it contains, necessitate effective engagement mechanisms to harness this potential to advance the development of this continent.