President Emmerson Mnangagwa has returned home from Kigali last night after attending the African Union Extraordinary Summit on the launching of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Speaking to ZBC News at the Robert Mugabe International Airport, President Mnangagwa described the launch which saw some 44 African countries signing and others appending their signatures to the Kigali declaration of intend as a positive development for the continent.
“The African Continental Free Trade Area has been launched today and out of 55 countries 44 have signed, then there was also the protocol of free movement of Africans in Africa and of the 44 out of 55 that signed, Zimbabwe is one of those that signed; then with relation to free movement of persons in Africa 43 countries signed and Zimbabwe is one of them, then there is the Kigali Declaration which means the AU members states are committing themselves to the AfCFTA even if they have not signed now, again we have signed that one and also went further and signed the agreement.
“Beyond that as Zimbabwe we have signed the AU Charter on the conduct of democratic elections and guidelines and lastly, we signed another protocol relating to the Pan African Parliament – most member states of the AU have done so and for some reason Zimbabwe had not done so. So we have put those things behind us and we are now a progressive member of the AU,” said President Mnangagwa.
President Mnangagwa said the continent is now moving to a stage where African economies have to talk to each other, and promoting trade amongst African countries.
He said African countries have committed themselves to reducing tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade and each country has committed itself to implementing 90 percent of these agreements.