African nations set to approve huge free trade deal (CNN)


The African continent is on the cusp of something big.

Fifty-five nations are negotiating a free trade deal that will cover more than 1.2 billion people across Africa, from Morocco all the way to South Africa.

Their leaders are planning to give political backing to the deal in late March, and launch a free trade zone for goods and services before the end of 2018, according to a spokesperson for the African Union, an organization that represents all 55 countries.

The Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) could eventually be extended to create common policies on investment, competition and intellectual property.

It covers economies with a combined GDP of around $3.4 trillion.

The deal is designed to replace a patchwork of smaller trade agreements and bring countries closer together, following the pattern set by the European Union.

Like the EU, African nations hope one day to allow the free movement of people across the continent. An African central bank and single currency could follow within 10 years, said Prudence Sebahizi, the CFTA’s chief technical adviser.

Analysts are still crunching the numbers for what the CFTA means for economic growth and prosperity. The United Nations estimated in 2012 that the CFTA could boost trade within Africa by about 50% over the course of a decade.

Growth is very uneven across the continent and has generally slowed over the past few years, down to 3.5% in 2017 from a recent peak of 7% in 2012, according to the International Monetary Fund. It is forecast to rise in the coming years, but not by much.

“The potential for the agreement to support the continent’s development is huge,” said Danae Kyriakopoulou, chief economist at the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF), a financial think tank in London

Two of the biggest economies — Nigeria and South Africa — support the deal, according to the African Union, which works to promote economic and political integration. Nigeria is chairing the negotiations while South Africa has sent big delegations to each round of talks, it added.

But some experts are cautious about the prospects for success.

John Ashbourne, an Africa economist at Capital Economics, is a self-professed CFTA skeptic. He worries that the free trade zone could be “unworkably large” and may have limited benefits.

“While tariffs are a big problem, there are also very tangible reasons why intra-Africa trade is low. The infrastructure needed to facilitate intra-regional trade is poor, and most countries don’t produce many finished goods that their neighbors want,” he said.

That’s reflected in relatively weak trade ties between African countries.

“In absolute terms, African countries traded almost twice as much with the European Union as they did with each other in 2016,” said the OMFIF’s Kyriakopoulou. “This defies one of the principles of trade economics: that proximity matters.”

In a recent article in the Financial Times, Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou listed several obstacles to boosting continental trade, including “border delays, burdensome customs and inspection procedures.”

But the potential rewards are simply too big to ignore, he added.

“With the continent’s economy expected to grow to $29 trillion by 2050, the CFTA may evolve to cover a market that is larger than NAFTA today,” he wrote, referring to the North American Free Trade Agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

see CNN for more information


Media Profile: We are proud to welcome Afric Vision Network TV to the African Union Expo 2016 on 11/15/2016

We would like to welcome the Afric Vision Network TV team to the African Union Expo 2016 on 11/15/2016

We welcome Afric Vision Network TV team. The Afric Vision Network TV team will be providing TV and visual production services for the entire event .

Visit for more information for Merchants and general Attendees or email or phone 646-502-9778 Ext. 8002

About Afric Vision Network TV:

Mr. Dosso Inza


Afric Vision Network TV

Facebook: AfricVision Nouvelles 12823356_1521137038188048_8290981845429736419_o

Tel: 646-234-0609 / 646-546-5276

Services Profile: We are proud to welcome Fundation to the African Union Expo 2016 on 11/15/2016

We welcome Fundation . Fundation will be providing small business lenders and financing solutions for  small businesses and individuals attending the event.

Visit for more information for Merchants and general Attendees or email or phone 646-502-9778 Ext. 8002

Fundation is one of the nation’s leading small business lenders and financing solutions provider.12109192_890178131071513_4233957711976304829_n

Fundation, a digitally-enabled lender and credit solutions provider to banks, develops integrated small business lending solutions. With Fundation, banks are empowered to deliver credit online, drive cost efficiency into their lending process and maximize customer retention. Fundation also has the operational and compliance capabilities to be a committed and reliable partner.

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Demond Wilkerson


Partnership Development

Fundation Group LLC

Direct: (646) 829-9614

Mobile: (646) 784-1144

Services Profile: We are proud to welcome Harlem One Stop to the African Union Expo 2016 on 11/15/2016

We welcome Harlem One Stop. Harlem One Stop will be providing cultural tourism and related information for  small businesses and individuals attending the event.

Visit for more information for Merchants and general Attendees or email or phone 646-502-9778 Ext. 8002

General Information
Harlem One Stop is a community-based cultural tourism initiative 10406747_809605745771786_2482560200476206206_n

Harlem One Stop is a cultural tourism initiative which seeks to establish a one stop network for Upper Manhattan-Harlem-based tourism through alliances and strategic partnerships. Through the promotion and sharing of local experience and knowledge, all partners seek to positively impact the delivery of services and contribute to the improvement and economic growth in our respective neighborhood and greater Harlem.

General Information
Harlem One Stop is a community-based cultural tourism initiative
events, destination marketing organization, Harlem, news, attractions, restaurants, shopping, cultural events, marketing,publishing, hamilton heights, sugar hill, el barrio, east harlem, central harlem, community, non-profit, blogging, blog, neighborhood resource, information, community, historic preservation, culture, african-american culture, gentrification, neighborhoods in transition, community-based 13876589_1103874119678279_7248927797860112683_n

Services Profile: We are proud to welcome Captial One to the African Union Expo 2016

We welcome Capital One to the Expo. Capital One will be providing Financial services and related information as well as participating in the Business review sessions during the expo for  small businesses and individuals attending the event.

Visit for more information for Merchants and general Attendees or email or phone 646-502-9778 Ext. 8002


At Capital One we’re on a mission for our customers—bringing them great products, rewards and service.
Company Overview

Capital One is a diversified bank that offers products and services to individuals, small businesses and commercial clients. We use technology, innovation and interaction to provide consumers with products and services to meet their needs.

Banking, Credit Card, Auto Finance, and Home Loan products and services are offered by the Capital One family of companies,including Capital One Bank (USA), N.A., and Capital One, N.A., NMLS ID 453156, Members FDIC.

All entities are separate but affiliated legal entities of Capital One Financial Corporation, each is responsible for its own products and services.etyag1-3692

Contact: Hantz Salomon

Relationship Banker

249 E 86th Street

New York, NY 10028

O: 646-650-3235

F: 646-650-3253

NMLS # 1428828


Services Profile: We are proud to welcome the New York Life Insurance Company as a merchant to the African Union Expo 2016

We welcome the New York Life Insurance Company  to the Expo. New York Life Insurance Company  will be providing Financial solutions for small businesses and individuals  for attendees at the event.

Visit for more information for Merchants and general Attendees or email or phone 646-502-9778 Ext. 8002

About the New York Life Insurance Company: 530564_10151365382019452_967939368_n

Our mission: To provide security and peace of mind through our insurance, annuity, and investment products and services.

As a mutual company, we are able to focus on our most important priority: you. By maintaining superior financial strength and always acting with our guiding principles of integrity and humanity, we protect your future.

Every decision we make and every action we take has one overriding purpose: To be here when you need us.

Life Insurance | Retirement | Investments

Contact: Carmen Tomlinson10891771_10152967560779452_7708369011238098372_n
Licensed Financial Professional

              New York Life Insurance Company
576 Broad Hollow Road

              Melville, NY 11747


Carmen Tomlinson
Licensed Financial Professional

New York Life Insurance Company1012935_10152858286714452_4603932872668874598_n
576 Broad Hollow Road

Melville, NY 11747

Tel. 631-391-2900

Fax 631-391-5869

Cell 914-582-9149

Merchant Profile: We are proud to welcome NEGE style as a merchant to the African Union Expo 2016

We welcome NEGE style  to the Expo. NEGE style will be African providing innovative Fashion and products for attendees at the event.

Visit for more information for Merchants and general Attendees or email or phone 646-502-9778 Ext. 8002

About NEGE style: 2016-04-07_13-45-53

NEGE style created by  Gerardine Akum from Cameroon , Central Africa, is a revolution to the African concept of dressing. She received a graduate training in fashion Design and Business management at Centre de Formation Professionel Deutou (C.F.P.D.) and University of Buea in Cameroon. Her thoughtful choice of materials, blending African prints with cotton, satin, rayon and attention to quality construction to make smart, wearable silhouette for forward-thinking women.While in school she was taught to be creative and “Live your Style”, dress to impress, make your own cloth things she never learn in high school. In her off-hours, she scoured at the fabric stores for uncommon fabric, tried, draped, made patterns and creations for herself and her sisters. Taking her outfits to the streets passersby stopped her on the street, asking her where they could buy such clothes. Being an African and growing in her society she has always been striving for distinction and uniqueness in her way of sewing African print adding lace, jeans and man-made fabrics to the African print and wax.

At the end of her 30 months training, she pursued with men’s wear  learning how to sew pants and shirts. NEGE’s playful silhouettes and elegant tailoring quickly gained a devoted following, at home and abroad, among young and old. She has presented her work at 2 major fashion shows in her country and she is multiplying clients at home and abroad, Cameroon, Gabon, Canada, United Kingdom, and United States. Alumni student at the Arts Institute of New York city, Gerardine is taking her dream to a higher extend with a mix of European and African culture to have a modern look for the revolutionists African and European woman for this was her first excitement when she moved to the United States.


Akum Gerardine at 212 west 141st street New York NY 10030

at +13474903000

Agency Profile: We are proud to welcome the USPS as a merchant to the African Union Expo 2016

We welcome the USPS to the Expo. the USPS will be providing innovative and cost effective small business solutions for attendees at the event.

Visit for more information for Merchants and general Attendees or email or phone 646-502-9778 Ext. 8002

About the United States Postal Service

A self-supporting, independent federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation: 155 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.12888515_10154069312144810_559064071407089210_o

With more than 31,600 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government,, the Postal Service has annual revenue of nearly $69 billion and delivers 47 percent of the world’s mail. With more than half a million employees, the Postal Service is one of the nation’s largest employers. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 43rd in the 2015 Fortune 500 and 137th in the 2015 Global Fortune 500 list. The Postal Service has one of the world’s largest computer networks — linking nearly 32,000 facilities and making communication possible between hundreds of thousands of employees, as well as our customers.

The Postal Service mission is to provide a reliable, efficient, trusted and affordable universal delivery service that connects people and helps businesses grow. Everyone living in the United States and its territories has access to postal products and services and pays the same for a First-Class postage stamp regardless of their location.

The Postal Service has established a core set of enduring goals that guide all of its strategic initiatives and continuous improvement efforts:

  • Deliver High-Quality Services
  • Provide Excellent Customer Experiences
  • Ensure a Safe Workplace and an Engaged Workforce

The Postal Service puts information and technology at the center of its business strategies. It’s finding ways to harness analytics and insights and information to empower employees and customers. It’s also speeding the pace of innovation, and developing mobile and digital tools to play a larger role in the daily digital lives of customers. The Postal Service is already a technology-centric organization. It uses the world’s most advanced tracking and information systems to speed the flow of mail and packages throughout its network, creating literally billions of data points every day. The Postal Service is leveraging the information derived from that robust scanning and tracking to add value to the senders and receivers of mail and packages — and to create new products and services to spur growth in the mailing industry.12615144_10153937912994810_828888854269488854_o

The U.S. Postal Service continues to play an indispensable role as a driver of commerce and as a provider of delivery services that connects Americans to one another — reliably, affordably and securely, and to every residential and business address.

If you’re looking for the official source of information about USPS, please visit our homepage®.
You can also find us on:

Merchant Profile: We are proud to welcome ChokoMODE as a merchant to the African Union Expo 2016

ChokoMODE will be Featuring their clothing collections  during the Expo.

Visit for more information for Merchants and general Attendees or email or phone 646-502-9778 Ext. 8002

ChokoMODE is a unique clothing line offering individual collections of rich quality fabric for today’s professional woman whether at work or at play. Our designs are classy, sophisticated, and elegant yet boast a figure-flattering tailored fit. chokomode1

We are passionate about creating indelible first impressions for the style-functional woman. Our clothing is designed for authority and power while embracing the soft and sexy femininity within every woman.

chokoMODE celebrates the cultural essence of each piece of fabric that is globally imported and recognized in our designs.

We strive to give our customers the exclusive experience of feeling beautiful by wearing the finest garments that flow with dignity and grace for every mood.  Our brand symbolizes the essence of the well-dressed woman while offering a high-quality collection of fashion items built for the success and lifestyle of the modern working woman.  Our clothing
represents an expression of who we are as women and the perception based on what we wear.

Our fashionable collection is comprised of versatile business attire and after work evening wear ranging from business and leisure suits, alternating jackets, pants, and skirts, as well as colorful and comfortable cocktail dresses.  Our custom designs are made to compliment the career-to-casual minded wardrobe and embody confidence with detailed
feminine appeal worthy to compliment any woman of any size. chokomode2

Welcome to chokoMODE!

About the designer

Marcelle Gakam proudly hails from Cameroon, Central Africa before transplanting to the United States.   Driven by her passion for fashion, she sets up chokoMODE headquarters in Houston, Texas.  Now residing in New
York, the fashion capital of the world, and taking courses at FIT, Marcelle is determined to make her original chokoMODE brand of style and apparel a worldwide standard of the fashion industry.

According to Marcelle, the name “Chokomode” was inspired by her grandmother’s name Choko,  but decided to add “MODE” to emphasize the unique spirit, culture and heritage of strong professional women across
the globe.  Thus the tagline, “dressing the professional woman with elegance” was born.

Influenced by her French-African roots, she was compelled to build a brand from the ground up that spoke to sophisticated women from various backgrounds, ethnicities and walks of life. chokomode


Tel: 855-552-4656

social media (Facebook & Instagram): @chokomode

Marcelle Gakam
220 WADSWORTH AVE #203, NEW YORK, NY, 10033
Social media: @chokomode
Ceo/Designer @chokomode

Merchant Profile: We are proud to welcome Zuri-Laini as a merchant to the African Union Expo 2016

Zuri-Laini will be providing beauty & Health  Care products and services during the Expo.

Visit for more information for Merchants and general Attendees or email or phone 646-502-9778 Ext. 8002

Zuri-Laini’s mission was and always wlll be to create products that are synthetic-free, and safe for every skin type. Using extracts, and herbs that are pure and natural is vital to having and maintaining healthy skin. What you put on your skin is absorbed into your body much like the foods you choose to eat,. That is why the utmost care is taken in the preparation of all products which are created in small batches to ensure their quality and pureness. Please choose natural and organic ~  health & wellness ~ That is what Zuri-Laini offers. 1ff474_b686fd442c004088848c8f29d62d5fa4-mv2_d_3264_1836_s_2

                  Thank you –  your skin will definitely thank you


A native of Brooklyn, NY with roots in Barbados, An educator (MS. &  Ed.S ) with a love for the outdoors, nature and natural/pure healthy foods and products, especially in the products that we feed our body both internally and externally.  Handcrafting soap, creams and other products is not just a hobby or past time, but one of the most important endeavors that I have undertaken.  The purpose of making handcrafted soaps initially was to create beautiful fragrant and chemical-free products, but soon I found it much more important that others understood why and how using them is so important to their overall health over an extended period of time.  My products are made in small batches to insure the quality is  always consistent.  Hot process soaps can be created in a 24-48 hour time frame  Cold process soaps made upon request require a longer curing time and usually ship within 3-4 weeks to insure freshness.