The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) is celebrating the rejection of European Union-SADC Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA) negotiations by the governments of South Africa and Angola and is mobilising for a political intervention in the whole agreement negotiations.
The signing of a finalized economic partnership agreement (EPA) between the European Union and southern African countries seems imminent-despite regional trade fragmentation remaining a danger.
Twenty six African countries seeking to merge their economies into a single trading bloc that controls a combined wealth of $ 624m and a market of 527m people moved to a definitive stage after their leaders approved plans to establish a free trade area early this week.
The European Union is likely to move towards the official signing of an interim economic partnership agreement, known as an EPA, with countries of the Southern African Development Community that will exclude South Africa.
EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton visited several nations in Southern Africa last week, where she held talks with key governmental leaders. Although the general purpose of the trip was to promote bilateral and regional trade relations, Ashton also hoped to make progress on a potential Economic Partnership Agreement, or EPA, between members of the South African Development Community (SADC) and the European Union.
The EU Trade Commissioner, Catherine Ashton, was scheduled to arrive in Botswana on Wednesday for talks with senior SADC officials.
Southern Africa is at a crossroads. While the rest of the world is heaving and buckling under the weight of the financial crisis, the subcontinent is battling to overcome centuries of colonial and other boundaries through adopting agreements about a free trade area.
Regional stakeholders in the energy industry meeting in Tanzania have called for cooperation, integration and pooling of resources in the energy sector as the only way of dealing with energy shortages in southern Africa.
The size of the domestic market has long been a thorn in the flesh for local businesses.
Agricultural and development economies in Sub-Saharan Africa are the flavour of the month. The global credit crisis, wide-scale economic meltdown and financial recession have sparked a wave of interest about the implications for Africa. It is crucial that this discussion happens.
Seven Sadc member countries met in Lilongwe on Tuesday to strategise on creating a regional platform for informal cross border traders who would work to ensure that trade integration in southern Africa benefits poor people at regional level.
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 trade liberalisation agenda in southern Africa and Africa as a whole needed to be strengthened, Tshediso Matona, the director-general of the trade and industry department, said on 30 October.
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).