Press release

Vice President Mr. Vincent Meriton signs the Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area

March 22, 2018

The Seychelles Government participated at the Extraordinary Summit of the African Union that took taking place on 21st March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. The Summit was being held for the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 

The Seychelles delegation was led by Mr. Vincent Meriton, Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, who signed the Agreement on behalf of the Seychelles Government. In his address to the Summit, the Vice President noted how the AfCFTA echoes “our commitments towards African Trade Integration, building into Agenda 2063 for a more Prosperous Africa, based on inclusive growth and sustainable development … This is especially important for us, small island African states who face the ongoing realities of limited resources and small market size”.

The African Continental Free Trade Area brings together 55 countries, with a combined population of more than 1 billion people and a GDP of more than 3.4 trillion US dollars. This will provide opportunities for countries like Seychelles to increase their manufacturing base through the creation of regional value chains and the provision of a larger market size for the private sector, in both goods and services. The instrument which was signed by forty-four countries, will come into force once it has been ratified by twenty-two member states, following which, only the countries having ratified it will benefit from its provisions. 

Vice President Meriton was accompanied at the Summit by Mr. David Pierre, Seychelles Ambassador accredited to the AU, Ms. Cillia Mangroo, Principal Secretary for Trade, and Messrs. Marco Larsen and Terry Rose from the Department of Foreign Affairs.