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Good morning, this is Nicolas. Today, we’re covering a report that examines a free-trade agreement in Africa, which could boost the continent’s development.

We’re also following a statement from a WHO official that existing Covid vaccines should be effective against the Omicron variant. Meanwhile, we’re keeping an eye on the risks of associating climate and terrorism ahead of a Security Council on the topic.

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Nicolas Camut


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Women farming cassava in Sierra Leone, 2018. UNCTAD said the recent creation of Africa's free trade area will drive inclusive growth on the continent if accompanied by stronger support measures for women. (Credit: Unsplash/Annie Spratt)

Africa’s free-trade bloc can drive inclusive growth – if done right, says UN report. An Africa-wide free-trade pact that came into force this year could be a “game-changer” in realising the continent’s development ambitions if measures to reduce poverty and inequality are properly implemented, according to a UN report released on Tuesday. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) officially opened for business in January 2021 with the aim of boosting trade among African countries. But this won’t happen through trade policies alone, UNCTAD’s Rebeca Grynspan told reporters on Tuesday. “Growth by itself will not necessarily deliver inclusive growth”.

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