KIGALI — President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has pledged Ghana’s commitment to the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and urged other African leaders to demonstrate the political will to make the African Union (AU) an economic and political success.

He made the pledge at an AU Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Governments in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, on Wednesday when 44 of Africa’s 55 States signed onto the AfCFTA agreement to set up a pan-African free trade area to improve regional integration and boost the continent’s economic growth.

President Akufo-Addo said it was time to scale up the momentum of the continent’s integration agenda to give a boost to Africa’s common market process, adding that the process presents immense opportunities to bring prosperity to the continent with hard work, enterprise and creativity.

With the AfCFTA described as the largest free trade area created since the formation of the World Trade Organization (WTO), President Akufo-Addo noted that its coming into being as one of the most important decisions the AU would ever take.

The time is now right that we demonstrate strong political will to make the African Union an economic and political success, and to make the project of integration real, he said, while assuring of Ghana’s readiness to host the AfCFTA Secretariat in Accra.

A working, common continental market has to be a very fundamental objective of all peoples and governments on the continent. Research has shown that countries or groups of countries with the largest share of world trade are located within regions with the highest levels of intra-regional trade. It is, thus, vital that the treaty works, and that the Continental Free Trade Area becomes reality, he said.

President Akufo-Addo appended his signature to the three legal instruments here Wednesday, namely the Agreement establishing the Continental Free Trade Area; the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons; and the Kigali Declaration, which have brought the CFTA into being. The CFTA Agreement will have to be ratified by individual countries.