Ramaphosa Heads To Niger For AU Summit

President Cyril Ramaphosa is travelling to Niger’s capital Niamey for the 12th Extraordinary Summit of the African Union (AU).

The AU Summit will give effect to the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) and formally launch the operational phase of the African Internal Market.

Delegates will also determine the location and structure of the ACFTA Secretariat in Niger.

South Africa’s primary export destinations on the continent are mainly within the Southern African Development Community (SADC), followed by East Africa.

The Continental Free Trade Area presents South Africa with an opportunity for expansion into new markets in West and North Africa.

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ACFTA is aimed streamlining trade and business on the continent and to stimulate inter-Africa trade while addressing hurdles such as high transport costs and cumbersome custom systems.

President Ramaphosa will also, alongside President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, participate in the launch of the Tariff Concession Portal during the opening session of the Summit.

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The password controlled tariff concession portal was established to allow countries to extend tariff preferences or give concessions in a secured manner, attracting minimal or no tariffs.

Since its adoption, ACFTA has been signed by 52 countries, with 24 ratifications.

South Africa ratified the agreement in February.

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