The African Union on Monday officially began negotiations on plans to create a continent-wide free trade zone by 2017.
Addressing the AU summit in Johannesburg on Monday, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, current chairman of the 54-nation organization, called the new Continental Free Trade Area essential to promoting movement of goods and people within the continent.
To meet the 2017 implementation deadline, member states are expected to reduce trade barriers among themselves by drastically reducing export and import duties and, in some cases, waiving visa requirements.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta hailed the launch of negotiations as a critical step toward reducing poverty and doubling the continent’s economic development. Read more. Source | Voice of America