PRETORIA– South African President Cyril Ramaphosa left for the Rwandan capital, Kigali, Tuesday to attend an Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) Wednesday when the continent’s leaders are expected to launch a pan-African free trade area (FTA).

Ramaphosa was sscheduled to pay a courtesy call on Rwandan President Paul Kagame shortly after his arrival there, participate as a panellist in a business forum that forms part of the summit programme and attend a welcome dinner hosted by President Kagame to honour visiting Heads of State and Government.

According to the Presidency, Ramaphosa will attend the opening ceremony of the summit on Wednesday and deliver a statement to the summit in his capacity as the current chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The theme of the AU for the year 2018, under which its summits will be held, is “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”.

Over the past three days, an Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council has deliberated on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) legal instruments and launch the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area. The Summit is expected to consider and conclude issues related to the AfCFTA and adopt the Agreement on the Establishment of the AfCFTA, the Presidency said in a statement here.

South Africa is committed to the establishment of an AfCFTA which will boost intra-Africa trade in accordance with the aspirations of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

President Ramaphosa is accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Lindiwe Sisulu, and Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Gratitude Magwanishe.