Kigali — Angola's head of State João Lourenço was the 4th statesman who signed Wednesday in Kigali, Rwanda, the three instruments that proclaimed the existence of the Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Prior to Joao Lourenço, the presidents of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou, Chad Idriss Déby, and Rwanda Paul Kagame, signed the three legal instruments:
Forty-four of the 55 African Union countries signed - Free Trade Area, Free Movement of People and Declaration of Kigali.
Parliaments of the signatory countries are required to ratify this instrument in order for the Free Trade Area to take effect.
The chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Fakir, has called on the parties to ratify this instrument before the end of the year.
Addressing an opening ceremony, the host President Paul Kagame stressed the importance of the agreement, saying that the dignity of the African peoples is at stake.