The success of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement will be a true test of its effectiveness in bringing about the economic and development breakthrough to which we all aspire, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli said Saturday.
Madbouli was addressing the 13th extraordinary summit on the AfCFTA, which virtually kicked off on Zoom platform earlier in the day, on behalf of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.
The premier initiated his speech by conveying the greetings of President Sisi to Chairperson of African Union (AU) Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa and Chairperson of the AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat.
He also voiced Egypt's appreciation of the former's keen efforts to regularly hold AU sessions despite COVID-19 challenges, which demonstrates the great attention state members pay to African joint action.
Madbouli also thanked President of the Republic of Niger Issoufou Mahamadou for his leading efforts to push forward on the agreement, which culminated in the Agreement entering into force on May 30, 2019.
The premier stressed that further collaborative efforts are now needed more than ever to maintain the momentum achieved by the agreement, especially in light of the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also underscored the urgent need for adopting effective and clear-cut measures that ensure the agreement's success, including the technical elements needed to fully implement the agreement.
Unlike conventional free trade agreements, the AfCFTA is a comprehensive agreement with a development dimension, as it covers not only trade in goods and trade in services; but also investments, intellectual property rights, competition policy and electronic commerce, among others.