In March, 55 nations of the African Union joined in Kigali, Rwanda to discuss the possibility of an open trade agreement throughout the continent. Free trade and free movement across the continent is a great step in the right direction for the 50-year goals of the African Union. “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in international arena” is a noble and reachable vision for the continent. Joining the likes of the European Union and the NAFTA nations is a step towards becoming the economic superpower it is capable of being. However, this plan is not without its skeptics, notably Nigeria and South Africa have decided to abstain citing the protection of their local economies as a reason. Most African leaders in the African Union are on board, especially the host of the event, President Kagame of Rwanda, joined excitedly by 46 other leaders. It will also be a stride for peace between nations as each country begins to rely on one another, similar to the European Union, especially considering that 27 of the signing nations also agreed to the free movement of people. This agreement, if it lives up to its potential, could provide billions or even trillions of dollars to the African continent, only time will tell.
For additional reading on the subject, click here for coverage by CNN or click here for analysis from the Washington Post!
by Patrick Garvey