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44 African Countries Signed The Continental Free Trade Agreement, Here Are The Ones That Didn't

Africa's two biggest economies, South Africa and Nigeria, withheld from signing the agreement to establish The African Continental Free Trade Area.

The African Union (AU), reached new heights for its Agenda 2063 project in its recent summit where 44 African countries united to sign an agreement to establish The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Kigali, Rwanda.

Two of Africa's largest economies, South Africa and Nigeria, withheld their signatures from the AfCFTA, along with nine other member countries. This agreement marks a new, important chapter of the AU's project 2063, which is an outline to transform Africa's socio-economy over the next 50 years. Although, the absence of signatures did not completely halt AfCFTA's establishment, it certainly hurts the image and uniting agenda of the African Union.


Without the signature of all 55 member countries, the AU will fall short in having established the largest trade agreement, by a bloc of 55 member states, in the world.

The goal of the agreement was to improve intra-regional trade throughout the continent with hopes to decrease Africa's poverty rate and grow its manufacturing base by ridding the continent of all trade barriers, including "non-tariff barriers and removing import duties", as reported on CNN. Yet, in his statement, South Africa's president, Ramaphosa, did not want to commit to the agreement until all of legal processes have taken place and passed through South Africa's "stakeholders and Parliament." On the contrary, Nigeria's president, Buhari believes the agreement needs further discussion altogether, and seems to be in more of a disagreement with the entire establishment. As he's stated on his twitter account:

Apart from Nigeria and South Africa, the other countries that did not sign the agreement were Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia, Burundi, Eritrea, Benin, Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau.

In the end, what is most important is that Africa as a continent continues to come together to reach middle ground, putting its people first and foremost. Hopefully, within the next two weeks the African Union will continue to move forward in growing Africa's social-economy, and continue to do what's best for its people.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Cassper Nyovest’s 20 Best Songs Ranked

The 20 best songs from Cassper Nyovest's growing catalogue.

Cassper Nyovest recently released his fifth studio album, A.M.N. (Any Minute Now). Announced in June 2020, he revealed that the title of the album refers to the impending birth of his son at the time, whom he said would be born "any minute now". His son was eventually born on September 13, two days after the album was released.

The South African rapper, in a conversation with media personality Pearl Thusi over IG Live, shared his opinion on the subject, saying that A.M.N. is his best offering.

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Interview: Wavy The Creator Is Ready to See You Now

The multidisciplinary Nigerian-American artist on tapping into all her creative outlets, creating interesting things, releasing a new single and life during quarantine.

A trip canceled, plans interrupted, projects stalled. It is six months now since Wavy the Creator has had to make a stop at an undisclosed location to go into quarantine and get away from the eye of the pandemic.

The professional recording artist, photographer, writer, fashion artist, designer, and evolving creative has been spending all of this time in a house occupied by other creatives. This situation is ideal. At least for an artist like Wavy who is always in a rapid motion of creating and bringing interesting things to life. The energy around the house is robust enough to tap from and infuse into any of her numerous creative outlets. Sometimes, they also inspire trips into new creative territories. Most recently, for Wavy, are self-taught lessons on a bass guitar.

Wavy's days in this house are not without a pattern, of course. But some of the rituals and personal rules she drew up for herself, like many of us did for internal direction, at the beginning of the pandemic have been rewritten, adjusted, and sometimes ditched altogether. Some days start early and end late. Some find her at her sewing machine fixing up thrift clothes to fit her taste, a skill she picked up to earn extra cash while in college, others find her hard at work in the studio, writing or recording music.

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(Youtube)

The 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Wizkid, Alicia Keys x Diamond Platnumz, Manu WorldStar, Maya Amolo, La Dame Blanche and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here, Apple Music here and YouTube Music here

Check out all of OkayAfrica's playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Michael Kiwanuka Wins Highly Coveted 2020 Mercury Prize

The British-Ugandan artist proves that staying true to yourself will get you further than you can imagine.