KIGALI, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- Officials emphasized the importance of integration to Africa's development on Monday at the opening of the African Economic Conference in Rwandan capital Kigali, which seeks to address barriers to African integration.
The 13th edition of the annual conference running to Wednesday will focus, among others, on initiatives for accelerating progress in infrastructure integration, including the removal of barriers for movement of people and goods and services across borders.
Experts will share views, best practices and lessons on transforming regional institutions for more effective policy and institutional harmonization in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and other continent-wide agendas, including Africa's Agenda 2063 and the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The conference, organized by the United Nations Development Program and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa under the theme "Regional and Continental Integration for Africa's Development", is a bold attempt to present practical solutions to make the AfCFTA a reality, said Claudine Uwera, Rwandan Minister of State in Charge of Economic Planning.
He urged countries to take advantage of the existing political will and leadership to implement continental integration of Africa faster and in an adequate way.
Peace and security must not be overlooked to achieve successful integration in Africa, especially when it comes to the implementation of the AfCFTA, said Victor Harison, the AU Commissioner for Economic Affairs.