Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area will open new horizons for integration and development in the African continent.
Speaking at the 35th session of the African Union's executive council, currently held in Niger's capital Niamey on Thursday evening under Egypt's chairmanship, the minister reiterated that the free trade area is a leading continental project.
Shoukry highlighted the need to upgrade the infrastructure in the transportion and communications sectors in Africa.
He also emphsised on the importance of promoting peace and security in the African continent through the “Silencing the Guns” initiative, which calls on all warring parties in various African countries to stop the bloodshed of fighting.
Shoukry chaired several sessions to discuss reports on the activities of the African Union, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry Ahmed Hafez said.
The minister urged boosting coordination and cooperation between the AU and the eight African economic blocs with a view to developing regional and continental integration, Hafez added.
Shoukry left for Niamey on Wednesday to head the preliminary meetings ahead of the 12th extra-ordinary AU Summit, slated for Sunday as part of Egypt's current chairmanship of the AU.