AU Summit kicks off in Niamey!

The Pan-African Parliament, led by the President, The Rt. Hon. Roger Nkodo DANG is attending the 35th Session of the African Union (AU) Executive Council in Niamey, Niger from the 4 to 5 July 2019.

The African Union Commission Chairperson, H.E Moussa Faki MAHAMAT says the remarkable and historic operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will be launched at an Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government on July 7 in Niamey.

The Summit is also expected to decide the host of the secretariat of the AfCFTA, whose primary mandate will be the implementation of the agreement. Seven countries had declared their interest to host the Secretariat. These are: Egypt, Kingdom of Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar as well as Senegal.

It is expected that the launch of the operational phase will pave way for African traders to make use of preferential trading arrangements offered by the AfCFTA right away.

The AfCFTA came into force in May after a minimum of 22 ratifications by member states of the AU were deposited. 

Hon. Nkodo DANG says this development is a big turning point for Africa. "The continent must harness its full potential by responding to all protocols meant to advance the socio-economic development of the world's largest bloc ever," he advised.

On the other hand, the Pan-African Parliament continues to encourage member states to ratify the Malabo Protocol, which will give the continental Parliament full power to make laws for Africa and realize the continental integration aspiration.

As at March 2019, the Malabo/PAP Protocol has 12 ratifications; suggesting that 16 more are required.