Bilateral deal-making involving governments of Africa.
photo: World Bank/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
A chorus of US officials is signaling that Washington wants to turn a controversial programme giving poor African nations partial access to US markets into a full-fledged free trade agreement that would open Africa’s economy to US corporations.
President Kagame, who was officially opening the 21st Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Council of Ministers meeting at Hotel Intercontinental, said that while Africa is keenly negotiating for a fairer international trade system, it had done little to open up its markets with conducive investment climates and policies.
Washington has invited African trade and finance ministers for talks on the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) - the US partial free trade regime for imports from Africa.
The importance of trade as a vehicle that can also produce significant political effects was the focus of a Cato Institute briefing on Capitol Hill entitled "Building Foundations for Freedom, Commerce and Peace in the Middle East."
If Solana wants to demonstrate genuine support for the Palestinians he can start by calling for the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, in accordance with its Article 2 which grants Israel trade privileges only on condition that it respects human rights.
Why is there a sudden shift to regionalism as opposed to the much over-blown globalisation represented by multilateralism? Can Africa begin to understand that there is a dynamic and concerted effort at balkanising the continent into segmented disciplines?
As African trade ministers continue their meeting in Nairobi, NGOs are trying to make their positions known on various issues, including the economic partnership agreement being negotiated between the EU and African states and agricultural subsidies used by rich nations.
The governments of Tanzania and the Comoros have signed a trade agreement to facilitate economic development in the two countries.
A government policy-setting panel on Friday welcomed a proposal by the trade minister to launch negotiations between Japan and its 15 Asian neighbors to create a free trade zone, and discussed whether to accept more foreign workers amid the aging of society, economic and fiscal policy minister Kaoru Yosano said.
The Saharan states have called for free trade agreements to help the region achieve peace, stability and prosperity.
Tralac’s page on the African Continental Free Trade Area
The Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) is a regional non-governmental organization founded in 1996 soon after the WTO Singapore Ministerial Conference — mainly focusing on WTO, but also bilateral and regional trade negotiations in Africa.
The Southern and Eastern African Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) is an African initiative to strengthen Africa’s capacity to take a more effective part in the emerging global trading system and to better manage the process of globalization.