Africa Plans Free Trade Area.

Africa’s 54 nations have decided to establish a continental free trade area by 2017, speed up infrastructure development and put related policies and laws in place to boost the integration process. ‘The Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) should be operationalized by the indicative date of 2017, and enhanced intra-African trade and deepened market integration can contribute significantly to sustainable economic growth, employment generation, poverty reduction, inflow of foreign direct investment, industrial development and better integration of the continent into the global economy,’ according to the Declaration on the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa. The document was endorsed at the 18th African Union (AU) summit 23-31 January in the Ethiopian capital.