Kagame made the endorsement yesterday as he attended the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union on the AfCFTA in Niamey, Niger.
The market is also expected to boost trade between African countries at 53% by 2022 by exempting unnecessary taxes paving way for a potential market bringing together 1.2 billion citizens on the continent with total revenues amounting to USD$ 2500 billion.
The President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, the host country of the African Union Summit that kicked off yesterday told his counterparts that he was pleased to see AfCFTA launched in Kigali last year reaching the implementation phase.
The 22-country threshold was reached on 29 April 2019 when Sierra Leone and the Saharawi Republic deposited their instruments of ratification to AfCFTA.
Since then, Zimbabwe and Burkina Faso have also deposited their instruments of ratification, bringing the total number of countries to have deposited their ratification instruments to 24. São Tomé and Príncipe became the 25th country to deposit its instrument of ratification.
President Issoufou said: “The beginning of AfCFTA implementation is the fastest ever than any other agreements on the African continent. It reflects benefits our citizens are posed to gain from this inter-continental trade.”
He explained that the agreements will reach the target when countries agree on free exchange of goods and services and setting up systems to handle disputes arising from trade.
President Kagame thanked his counterpart Mahamadou for the comprehensive report and contribution to attaining implementation phase of AfCFTA.
“I commend President Issoufou for his comprehensive report. Rwanda fully agrees with its recommendations. We particularly concur on two points. One, the need to cater for small-to-medium cross-border traders, by simplifying trade regimes applicable to them. Two, the decision to commence trading under the AfCFTA on July 1st, 2020,” he said.
Kagame also agreed with the proposal of the Executive Council designating Ghana as the choice to host the AfCFTA Secretariat.
He highlighted that the current task is to finalize the remaining negotiations and operational instruments in a timely manner.