AFRICA/NIGER - Continental free trade area: a major step in Africa's economic development

Tuesday, 9 July 2019


Niamey (Agenzia Fides) - More than one billion people from 55 countries are the bases on which the African continental free trade area (Zlec) will be built. The initiative was born during the summit of the African Union states in Niger. The meeting was held in Niamey, from 7 to 8 July, and saw the assembly of the Presidents of the African Union countries. All the Heads of State signed the Zlec project.
"From now on, African countries will be able to circulate and sell their products throughout Africa without taxes and other constraints. Africa thus becomes a large free market open to all Africans. An event in the history of this continent", says to Agenzia Fides Father Donald Zagore, Ivorian theologian of the Society for African Missions.
"This is an important, necessary and fundamental step not only for African integration but also for the development of this continent", continues Fr. Zagore. "It is quite contradictory - the theologian insists - to support the African Union and at the same time the existence of enormous political, economic, monetary and commercial barriers between our different countries that, far from uniting, have divided and guided us one from the other ".
"If we want a strong Africa today, ready not only to make its voice heard, but also to win international battles, especially on the commercial front, it is inevitable to combine forces and capabilities. Africa is an economic and commercial power, but unfortunately it has long been suffocated by the lack of real politics in taking control of its destiny. Today, the real challenge is to move from beautiful speeches to concrete actions", concludes Fr. Donald. (DZ/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 9/7/2019)