President Muhammadu Buhari has canvassed for the speedy establishment of a single, unified market in Africa to increase trade, create more jobs and reduce poverty.
The President made the call while presenting Nigeria’s position in favour of the Report on the establishment of a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) and related issues presented by President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic, during the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
According to President Buhari, Nigeria wants African leaders and principal architects to speed up action to conclude the negotiations and establish the CFTA.”
He said that the continent has missed the timeline set by the African Union (AU) in January 2012 to establish the CFTA in 2017, he said African leaders still had the opportunity to set it up by March 2018.
Justifying Nigeria’s vote for the CFTA, the President Buhari explained that in a rapidly changing global economy, CFTA would provide Africa with tremendous opportunity to achieve significant growth driven by intra-African trade.
The President also said a single, unified market would lead to a comprehensive and mutually beneficial trade agreement amongst African Union Member States.
The Nigerian leader urged his African colleagues to also look beyond the economic benefits of the CFTA, stressing that it would “be another step in uniting Africa and consolidating the architecture of the African Union.