According to the communication service of the Presidency, the Heads of State member of African Union countries present at this meeting are debating the thorny issue of the continental free trade zone.
President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, who has always been very concerned about African integration for the development of the DRC and the continent, will be invited to speak at this summit.
According to the Head of State, this is an objective that can be achieved through a fierce fight against insecurity and the various conflicts that destabilize Africa. Because of its geographical position at the crossroads of several sub-regional organizations, the DRC has an important role to play in the African integration advocated by all the Heads of State within the organization. Thirty-two Heads of State are present in the Nigerian capital that hosts the AU summit under high security.
The ZLEC, an opportunity for the DRC
The AU summit that has just opened in Niamey, Niger is the largest historical event for the African continent since the creation of the OAU in 1963.
Because it will lead to the official launch of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) 54 of the AU countries will be part of the CFTA. Only Eritrea did not join. Today Nigeria and Benin have just signed their membership. The latter is a market of 1.2 billion people and will help to increase intra-African trade from 15% to 60%. Its active implementation is planned from 2020. The goal is to eventually reach a continental entity that will look like the EU.
But it will also help to boost intra-African trade, which is stagnating at 15%, compared to around 47% in America. 61% in Asia and 67% in Europe. This intra-African trade could bring $ 16.1 billion in additional revenue. Note that 3 African countries including Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa alone account for 50% of Africa's cumulative GDP.
The DRC is a big country and potentially rich must take advantage of the ZLEC to boost its economy and thus increase its GDP. The presence of the Head of State at this summit is of considerable geostrategic importance. Anyway this creation is an former dream of the heralds who founded the OAU headed by Kwame Nkrumah one of the founding fathers and first President of Ghana. From Cairo to Cape Town and from Dakar to Nairobi, the African common market is on the move.
The ZLEC will have to bring together the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Arab Maghreb Union and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States, East African Community (EAG) Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Central African States Economic Community (ECCAS).