The 18th African Union’s Extraordinary Executive Council convened in Kigali in preparations of the signing of the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Speaking at the opening session of the Council meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and East African Community and Chairperson of African Union Executive Council Louise Mushikiwabo said that the signing of the Continental Free Trade Area agreement is a historical landmark.
Minister Mushikiwabo said:
As a flagship project of Agenda 2063, the AfCFTA is one of our key milestones, a critical initiative that has the ability to bring about the social and economic changes that Africa has been envisioning for decades among many other flagship projects. I am therefore glad to see many of us reunited here to finally make this dream a reality.
Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission urged the Ministers of Foreign Affairs to adopt a Common Position on the Cotonou Agreements so that the continent should speak with one voice during trade agreements with partners taking into account the concerns and interest of the African people
Also speaking at the opening session, Dr. Vera Songwe, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), pointed out that in today’s world, there is a rising tide of protectionism and anti-globalisation and that Africa should be prepared to face these challenges with one voice and one stand.
The Executive Council works in support of the AU Assembly and reports directly to the Assembly. All Member States participate in the Executive Council, usually at Foreign Minister level.