Tag Archives: AcFta

Mali crisis: AcFta urge quick political reform; Opposition say Junta’s plan…


Opposition group says Junta’s plan does not reflect people’s views

• The Junta’s plan not relevant to views of the people •

As Mali’s junta tried to hash out a political roadmap with West African leaders in Ghana on Tuesday, the 18-month transition plan agreed by the military just days ago is being contested in Bamako by the popular opposition protest group.

“A delegation from the junta went to Accra to negotiate and discuss the fate of Mali without involving the M5-RFP ( the 5 June Movement – Rally of Patriotic Forces opposition coalition),” said Dr Choguel Kokala Maiga, President of the M5-RFP strategic committee.

Mali’s popular opposition movement led the demonstrations against the ousted president Keita.


The military junta over the weekend adopted a “transition charter”.

It has yet to be published. But according to reports, it would provide an 18-month transition government, led by a president named by a committee set up by the military junta.

“The M5-RFP has distanced itself from the document produced, which does not reflect the views and decisions of the Malian people,” said Maiga.

The opposition group said in a statement it condemned the “intimidation, anti-democratic and unfair practices worthy of another era” and “distances itself from the resulting document which does not reflect the views and decisions of the Malian people.”


But said it did not intend to start a conflict with the junta and would work together to modify the charter.


• African Leaders Urge Swift Return of Political Reforms in Mali •

West African leaders urged a swift political solution in Mali on Tuesday, fearing an Islamist insurgency that has been nestled in the country since 2012 could take advantage of the fragile situation.

The 15-nation regional bloc known as ECOWAS met with Mali’s junta in Ghana. It had set the military chiefs a Tuesday deadline for naming a new civilian interim leader.

“The terrorists are taking advantage of the situation in Mali to flex their muscles even more,” said Nana Akufo-Addo, Ghanaian President and current rotating chair of ECOWAS.

“Today is supposed to be the day when the military junta in Mali is to put in place a government… That has not been done,” he said.

“The circumstances of life in Mali today require that closure be brought to the matter now. “


ECOWAS has also urged a return to democracy within a year.

But the junta, which grabbed power after a coup in August, said it would step down in 18 months.

After a similar coup in 2012, Islamic extremists took advantage of a power vacuum and grabbed control of major towns in northern Mali.

Only a 2013 military intervention led by former colonial power France pushed extremists from those cities and the international community has invested more than seven years into the fight against extremism there.


AcFta agreement will boost Africa’s economy – Legal experts


Legal experts have assured that the commencement of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AcFta) in January 2021 would boost the economies of member nations.

They gave the assurance at a webinar organized by the Alliance Law Firm, Lagos with the theme: “Leveraging international trade law for the recovery of the global economy during the post COVID-19.”

Participants at the webinar are the keynote speaker, who is the president of Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah; director of Agriculture and Commodities division, World Trade organization, Edwini Kessie; Partner, King and Spalding LLP, Mr. Daniel Crosby; director of legal services, African Export-Import Bank, Ms. Samallie Kiyingi and the immediate past registrar, UNIRMCT, Dr. Olufemi Elias.


The chairman, Nigeria Bar Association Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL), Mr. Seni Adio (SAN); chairman, International Trade Law Committee and managing partner, Alliance law firm, Uche Val Obi (SAN) and the principal partner, Folashade Alli and Associates, Mrs. Folashade Alli moderated the event.

In his address, Prof. Oramah explained that in the absence of international cooperations towards a shared growth and prosperity at the world level, Africa has to take her destiny in her own hands.

“Thank God our leaders have risen to the challenge. The African Continental Free trade agreement provides that alternative. The journey for a rich African has already begun with the signing of the AcFta,” he said and lamented that the emergence COVID-19 has caused the shift of the commencement of the Agreement from July 2020 to January 2021 He stressed that AcFta is expected to boost inter-Africa trade. He charged lawyers to advise governments and stakeholders on the essential elements of the agreement.


Speaking on how Nigeria could use the emergence of COVID-19 to address its challenges, the organizer, Obi (SAN), noted that the country hesitated in signing the agreement on the excuse that it wanted to carry all stakeholders along.

He however maintained that it was never in contest that AcFta was a very relevant continental pact meant for the economic growth of member states. According to him, the closure of land borders by Nigeria around October 2019 to curb smuggling aggravated the situation.

This is because it was coming at the heels of the pressure to sign the pact.

“COVID-19 provided an opportunity to assess the contribution of international trade to global economy. Consequently, it has become imperative for concerted efforts to be made at the regional level to restore things,” he stated.