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Development | Brussels, 22 March 2018

Joint Statement on the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area

Joint Statement by HR/VP Federica Mogherini, EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström and EU Commissioner for Development and International Cooperation Neven Mimica:

"The historic decision to launch the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) taken on 21 March by the African Union at its Assembly in Kigali, represents a significant step towards deepening continental integration.

The adoption and signing of the AfCFTA legal instruments and the signing of the Protocol on free movement of persons are concrete commitments to liberalisation and to building on what has already been achieved at the regional level.

The EU is ready to support the implementation of this impressive achievement in the spirit of the African Union-European Union partnership and our joint political declaration of the Summit in Abidjan in November 2017.

The meeting between the African Union and the European Commission in Brussels on 23 May will be an important opportunity to discuss this further. We will be focussing on delivering on our joint commitments as agreed in Abidjan, to advance the strategic priorities for our cooperation for the coming years."