Economic 'game changer'? African leaders launch free-trade zone

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NIAMEY (Reuters) - African leaders launched a continental free-trade zone on Sunday that if successful would unite 1.3 billion people, create a $3.4 trillion economic bloc and usher in a new era of development.

After four years of talks, an agreement to form a 55-nation trade bloc was reached in March, paving the way for Sunday’s African Union summit in Niger where Ghana was announced as the host of the trade zone’s future headquarters and discussions were held on how exactly the bloc will operate.

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African Airlines Fly High With Cargo On the Back of a Strong Economy

African airlines have registered the fastest growth in freight volumes in seven years in the first half of this year, bouyed by strong trade lines between the continent and Asia.

Data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for the global airfreight markets shows that the volumes were up 31.6 per cent, with a capacity increase of 7.6 per cent.

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Gulf trade with Africa a growing source of optimism

Trade and investment between Arabian Gulf countries and Africa could historically be summed up in one line: oil going one way, a few agricultural products going the other.

This is now changing as an increased diversity of capital is on the move in both directions.

UN figures show that total merchandise trade between Africa and UAE alone increased from US$5.6 billion in 2005 to $17.5bn in 2014, the latest year available.

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Freighting of cargoes rises by 10%, says NAHCO chief

Freighting of agricultural and perishable cargoes and other non-consumable products at the nation’s international airports has increased by 10 per cent, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Chief Commercial Officer Seyi Adewale has said.

He said the air freight of such cargoes increased from about two per cent to 12.5 per cent in the last few years due to the export promotion policy.

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