NAIROBI-- The National Assembly, the lower house of the Kenyan Parliament, has approved the ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement which was signed by at least 44 of 55 African countries at a specially convened African Union session in Kigali, Rwanda, in March this year.

The agreement seeks to make Africa the largest free-trade area in the world. The Kenyan legislators also approved the ratification of the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area Agreement linking the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the East African Community and the Southern African Development Community.

Africa had long been pushing for more regional integration by merging its various Regional Economic Communities and inn March, 44 African heads of state and government, including Kenya's, met in Kigali to sign the AfCFTA agreement, a long-standing ambition of the AU.

The landmark agreement targets to increase intra African trade to 52 per cent of African countries' total trade by 2022. After Kenya's Cabinet approved the ratification of the agreement late March, the National Assembly has also approved the pact.

The ACFTA pact is expected to establish a single market with duty-free access among traders, in turn spurring industrialization, infrastructure growth and economic diversification across the African continent.

The creation of the AfCFTA will consolidate a market of over 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product of more than 3.0 trillion US dollars.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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