Common Market for East and Southern Africa
Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi all qualify for free EU market access under the Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme, but chose to sign a joint EPA with Kenya to preserve the EAC customs union. As the conclusion of the EPA negotiations approaches and the global economic crisis continues, the debate over how an EPA will affect East Africa has produced few clear answers.
The proposed regional Customs Union could be in jeopardy following the postponement of a crucial Common Market for East and Southern Africa (Comesa) summit scheduled for next month.
Zimbabwe has postponed a summit of Africa’s largest trading block COMESA, which had been scheduled to launch a regional customs union in December, the trade minister said Thursday.
Twenty six African countries, a single market and open borders that allow persons to move across freely and conduct business. That was the vision of the Tripartite Summit that took place in Kampala last week. President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania called it “a landmark summit for a landmark decision” while President Yoweri Museveni said it was “historic”.
The proposed merger of the EAC, SADC and COMESA will help reduce the cost of doing business for companies within the 26 countries and boost foreign direct investment (FDI) to levels never seen before.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has challenged three East African Community (EAC) partner states to agree to one regional trade bloc in order to make the customs union (CU) more effective.
African leaders from three regional economic blocs held a historic joint summit in Kampala, Uganda, last week, a move that adds fresh impetus to the long-term plan of setting up a continental economic community.
Following the recent establishment of the SADC free trade zone in August, just last week, the leaders of three African trading blocs - SADC, EAC, and Comesa - agreed to create a free trade zone of 26 countries.
The pact signed on Wednesday could hasten the proposed African Economic Community but may come too soon, especially for Kenyan manufacturers.
The first Tripartite Comesa-EAC-SADC Council of Ministers that opened on Monday at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort seeks the summit of heads of state and governments to endorse the creation of a free trade area which will cut across the three Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and institutionalise it by giving it a legal underpinning.
The issue of overlapping membership will be a major area of focus during the first joint meeting of Heads of Government, of the three Regional Economic Communities (REC)’s, in Eastern and Southern Africa, namely the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Leaders from 26 African countries meet in Kampala today at a summit called to harmonise and coordinate trade, customs and infrastructure development in the East and Southern African region.
The tripartite summit, which starts on Saturday with a meeting of permanent secretaries, will bring together member states of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The Minister for East African Community, Amason Jeffah Kingi, is scheduled to lead the Kenyan delegation to the 18th meeting of the East African Community (EAC) Council of Ministers Meeting slated for October 15-23, 2008 in Kampala, Uganda.
The first ever tripartite summit of the East African Community, the Common Market for East and Southern Africa and the Southern Africa Development Community takes place in Kampala this week.
The plan to merge 26 eastern and southern African states into a single trading bloc with a combined gross domestic product of $625 billion is complete and ready for heads of State to sign-off next month.
Government officials are reviewing the new sugar import licensing rules drafted by Agriculture ministry to ensure conformity with Comesa regulations.
Access to the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) will ease after opening of a trade centre in Kampala. Comesatradehub, an international export promotion company, will enable companies market and sell their products internationally.
To thwart a deepening food crisis on the continent, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation is proposing the creation of a Free Trade Area (FTA) for Africa that will facilitate a seamless flow of strategic commodities across national borders while maintaining high profit margins.
Comesa trade ministers are rooting for a crash programme to harmonise intra-regional policies before the December 2008 deadline of signing a joint Customs Union (CU).