The 31st ordinary summit of the African Union heads of state and government gets underway in Mauritania this weekend.
South Africa is among countries expected to sign the treaty for the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) during the summit.
The meeting will mainly discuss ways to combat corruption in Africa and budgetary allocations for the continental body’s secretariat.
While 44 out 55 African countries signed the agreement, only four, Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana and Niger have ratified the agreement.
Two of Africa’s biggest economies South Africa and Nigeria did not sign but South Africa has indicated its intention to sign during this summit.
President Cyril Ramaphosa says:”Our focus on the continent is the development of our economies as clearly demonstrated by the African free trade agreement that was signed in Kigali, which as a country we are now going to sign next week in Mauritania.”
The African Union says it is confident more countries will ratify and sign up.
Twenty two Countries must ratify the agreement for implementation to start.
The AfCFTA will create a single market for Africa one billion people with a combined GDP of close to $3 Trillion and boost inter African trade.
French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to attend the summit and hold a session with African leaders on financing AU-led peace operations as well the on-going migration crisis in Africa.
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