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United Nations lauds Africa for continental free trade deal.

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The United Nations has welcomed the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), congratulating the leaders upon creating one of the world’s largest trading blocs with over 50 countries.

In a statement issued by the global body’s secretary general, Antonio Guterres, the United Nations said the move is important towards achieving the sustainable development goals and delivering the African agenda on peace and prosperity.

‘‘With the joint African Union – United Nations Agreement for the implementation of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, as our common framework, the entire United Nations family stands ready to support the continent as it forges forward the entry into force of the Continental Free Trade Area in the coming months,’‘ read part of the statement.

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African leaders on Wednesday signed three major economic agreements during the African Union (AU) Extraordinary Session of Heads of State and Government in Kigali, Rwanda.

44 countries signed the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area, while 43 heads of state signed the Kigali declaration for the launch of AfCFTA and 27 signed protocols relating to Free Movement of Persons, Right of Residence and Right of Establishment.

The AU Protocol on the Free Movement of Person paved the way for citizens of different member states to be issued with African passports in future and establish businesses anywhere in Africa.

The AU has set a 2018 deadline for the removal of visa requirements for all African citizens in all African countries.

Rwanda eased its travel restrictions starting January this year by allowing travellers from across the world to get a visa-on-arrival, a move adopted in Kenya for Africans.

Governments now have the next six months, by September this year, to ratify the protocol. Those that did not sign can also do so during the window.

Under the protocol, member states are required to remove visa requirements for Africans, allow 90-day stay, and right of residence for any African in a territory other than his or her country of origin.

The protocol also calls for issuance of African passport in corroboration with the AU.

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Motherland News

Nigerian President Buhari Warns Ballot box snatchers to value their lives

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President Muhammadu Buhari has warned those planning to snatch ballot boxes during the elections to desist or pay with his or her life if caught.



President Buhari who stated this at the opening session of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Caucus meeting in Abuja, on Monday, said that such act would be the last unlawful act the person will be brought to book.

Meanwhile, the governors of Imo, Rochas Okorocha and Ogun, Ibikunle Amosun were conspicuously absent at the meeting.

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Buhari who said he is confident that he has garnered enough supporters having gone round the country to campaign, urged party members to reassure their constituents to come out and vote on the rescheduled dates.

While urging party agents to watch out for the party interests at the polling units the president said that he has directed security agencies to identify hot spots and be ready to move should they suspect any attempts to cause problems by thugs across the country irrespective of party affiliations.

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– Vanguard

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Health & Lifestyle

DR Congo blame Unending Ebola Outbreak on Violence , Community Mistrust.

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DR Congo Ministry of Health spokesperson Jessica Ilunga has declared that violence and community mistrust have continued to hamper all efforts to control and end the fresh Ebola outbreak, which started Aug. 1.



Though according to the World Health Organization the number of new Ebola cases has dropped slightly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as there are 33% fewer cases to date in February compared with the same time period in December per STAT’s Helen Branswell, but some experts warn Axios that there remain signs that this outbreak is far from over.

Meanwhile, some experts warn that, that doesn’t mean the world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak on record is yet under control, and in fact it could simply be moving to new areas of the sprawling country.

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Johns Hopkins’ public health expert Jennifer Nuzzo maintains there are several reasons people should continue to view this outbreak as a cause for concern.

However, Nuzzo said Congo needs more than money from the international community and the U.S. in particular. Safety concerns have largely caused the CDC to limit its Ebola experts to the capital city of Kinshasa, where some have returned after being evacuated during an uptick in election-related violence, Nuzzo added that Now is the time for the U.S. to send them into the field.

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