African leaders have signed an agreement to set up a massive free-trade area to improve regional integration and boost economic growth across the continent. The deal to create the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was signed at an extraordinary summit in Kigali, Rwanda by representatives of44 of the 55 African Union (AU) member states. The agreement commits countries to removing tariffs on 90 percent of goods, with 10 percent of “sensitive items” to be phased in later. It will also liberalise trade in services and might in the future include free movement of people and a single currency. AfCFTA will now have to be ratified by individual countries. By creating a free-trade zone, African leaders hope to boost intra-Africa trade, which stands at around 10 percent of all trade across the continent.
The National Electoral Commission (NEC) declared a runoff after none of the 16 presidential hopefuls on the March 7 ballot paper secured the 55% needed to secure an outright victory. But not all sixteen will be on the ballot paper come the 27th. The battle is squarely between the ruling All Peoples Congress’ (APC) Samura Kamara and main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party’s (SLPP) Julius Maada Bio .It was a tight race between the two as the final results indicated. Julius Maada Bio (SLPP) – 1,097,482 (43%), Samura Kamara (APC) – 1,082,748 (42%).