The president of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) Akinwumi Adesina, says he is confident that Nigeria and every other country on the continent will sign the Africa Free Trade agreement.
Speaking in South Africa on Friday on the successes of the Africa Investment Forum, the AfDB President said different countries have their processes, but everyone will come around.
“I think Nigeria is doing the right thing, actually consulting with its private sector, and having the dialogue that they need to have, and every country should have that kind of a dialogue,” he told CNBC Africa.
“I am 100 per cent convinced that every single African country is going to sign it. Countries have different processes of getting consensus and stuff like that; that’s alright, but what matters for me is the end.
“Why do I think that is important? First and foremost is that if you take the continental free trade area of Africa, it is going to be the largest free trade zone in the world after since the WTO was created in the 1948 or something like that.
“You cannot ignore it, this free trade zone is going to increase the trade in Africa by about $30 billion per year.
“It is going to increase intra-Africa trade from roughly about 14, 15 per cent today to 53 per cent, it is going to create massive amount of jobs for us, who doesn’t want to grow?”
No fewer than forty-nine countries on the continent have signed unto the continental free trade agreement, including South Africa, and excluding Nigeria.
In October, former President Olusegun Obasanjo said President Muhammadu Buhari’s hands are too weak to sign the African free trade agreement (AfCTA).