African Free Trade Zone: Algeria, AU call for making Kigali summit successful

APS : Tuesday, 13 March 2018
ADDIS ABABA (Ethiopia)- The chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said in a statement about his working visit to Algeria (March 10- 12) that he reiterated, to his Algerian hosts,
the need to do everything to make a success of the extraordinary summit of Kigali, Rwanda, on March 21st, to be devoted to the African Free Trade Zone (AFTZ).
Faki Mahamat said, during the summit, AU Commission will submit to African Union member states the protocol of free movement of people and the African passport adopted at the last January’s AU conference in Addis Ababa.
Faki Mahamat urged Algeria to join the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) launched at the summit of January 2018.
The SAATM, ratified by 24 member states so far, will “increase air links among African countries and reduce prices, favoring trade, investment and tourism,” he said.
“It will also boost African airlines and put them in a better position to face competition of non-African air operators.
Faki Mahamat stressed the “important progress” achieved in regional infrastructure projects as part of the NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development), including the 4,500km-long Trans-Saharan Road connecting Algiers to Lagos, Nigeria.
He also mentioned the 4,500km-long optical fiber links among Algeria, Niger, Nigeria and Chad (of which 2,700 km in the Algerian territory have been finalized) and the 4,200km-long trans-Saharan gas pipeline among Algeria, Niger and Nigeria.
The chairman of the AU Commission said the African Union welcomes Algeria’s commitment, including in terms of financing, to development and trade promotion projects in African sub-region.
He also reiterated Algeria’s role in the Maghreb integration process as well as peace and security in Africa.

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