Africa leaders to form largest free trade area since the WTO

Street vendors sell shoes at the Al-Attaba market in the centre of Cairo, Egypt, on February 21, 2018.

Khaled Desouki | AFP | Getty Images

Street vendors sell shoes at the Al-Attaba market in the centre of Cairo, Egypt, on February 21, 2018.

African heads of state have gathered in Kigali, Rwanda, to sign a free trade agreement that would result in the largest free trade area in terms of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organization.

speech Tuesday. “Increasing intra-African trade, however, does not mean doing less business with the rest of the world.”

But, the deal has its critics. It was announced over the weekend that Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari would not be attending the summit, despite his federal cabinet last week approving the deal. “This is to allow more time for input from Nigerian stakeholders,” said an official statement from the foreign ministry.

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