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KIGALI (HAN) August 20.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. African heads of state are expected in Kigali this September 5-6 for the African Investment Summit to discuss the future of the continent’s economy.

Most importantly, the leaders will reflect on the progress of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA), an arrangement between Comesa, EAC and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) launched in June 2015 as the largest trading bloc on the continent.

The TFTA is expected to come into force after being ratified by at least two-thirds of the 26 member states and thus pave way to market integration and the harmonisation of trade policies across the three regional blocs.

Last month, the deal hit a dead-end with member states failing to agree on the modalities of the free trade area that should be created. The countries had serious differences on the sensitive goods and services from each bloc that should be accorded preferential treatment.

The summit is organised by Comesa and will also bring together politicians and investors to discuss the progress of farming, agribusiness, investment and private-public partnerships, among other topics.

“The summit will cover various topics including: how investment is spearheading Africa’s transformation, the pros and cons of the TFTA, digitalisation, agricultural development and growth and intra-regional trade,” read a statement from Comesa.

“African investment opportunities are gaining popularity as conversations about the continent now shift to a focus on economic growth, opportunity and democratic progress. The forum provides a rare opportunity for government heads, global investors, and public and private sector to network and discuss the key challenges on the continent,” the statement said.

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