Niamey — African nations will officially launch a landmark trade agreement at an AU summit in Niger on Sunday, with the long sought-after agreement hailed as a historic step towards “peace and prosperity” across the continent.

The deal, which African leaders hope will create the world’s largest free-trade area, was given a boost when Nigeria and Benin’s presidents signed on to rapturous applause on Sunday at the two-day summit in Niger’s capital, Niamey.

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