African Union Free Trade Zone achievable in 2018

Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe has been elected chairman of the Negotiating Forum for the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) for Africa.

Ms Constance Ikokwu, strategy and communications adviser to the minister of industry, trade and investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah said this in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday, June 7.

Ikokwu said that Osakwe was elected chairman of the 54-member negotiating forum in Niamey, Niger, on June 5, during the 6th cycle of the negotiations for the CFTA.

She listed other members of the bureau to include first vice chairman (Swaziland); second vice chairman (Ethiopia); third vice chairman (Chad); and rapporteur (Algeria). According to her, this puts Nigeria at the forefront of the negotiations, where it is expected to show leadership and work with the bureau to drive the CFTA to conclusion.

Ikokwu quoted Osakwe as saying after the election “we have a duty to deliver on an integrated market for goods and services in Africa and, as a consequence, generate a radical boost for intra-African trade. “The responsibility we have is a major challenge and at the same time a unique opportunity to contribute to growth, job creation and poverty reduction in Africa. Continue Reading

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