Sacu trade ministers meet in Gaborone with European Commission trade head Peter Mandelson tomorrow in a bid to break a stalemate over the economic partnership agreement the region is negotiating with the European Union. Mooted as an opportunity to harmonise the region’s trade arrangements with its biggest trading partner and deepen regional integration, the EPA has achieved the opposite. It has divided the region and is threatening to split it permanently.
Trade ministers from Comesa have passed a resolution setting the stage for the establishment of what would be Africa’s largest common market. The ministers want trade regimes within the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the East African Community (EAC) harmonised.
East Africa’s trade ministers have proposed the formation of a larger trading bloc to eliminate friction among states over deals signed with partners outside the continent. The proposal made at a meeting of the Trade ministers in Arusha last week calls for the formation of a grand Free Trade Area (FTA) consisting of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) and the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc).
Malawi finally has to face up to the dilemma of choosing between being a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) or to stick with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) if it is to continue receiving funding from the European Union.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Free Trade Area has come into effect as from the start of this year. This means most goods produced in the region can now enter member countries free of custom duties.
Initialled by Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique on 23 November 2007
Southern African Development Community (SADC) and European Union (EU) negotiators have concluded the first phase of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
The European Commission and four states in southern Africa — Botswana, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho — have reached a new trade deal. South Africa and Namibia "will determine their participation in the agreement in the coming days," the Commission said. Madan Murlidhar Dulloo, foreign minister of Mauritius, accused the EU of "divide and rule".
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has said that a free trade agreement (FTA) for the region will be concluded next year as scheduled.
You are right that this should not be a poker game. Maybe it’s time for reflection so you could realize who is actually playing poker with the livelihoods you are trying to help, writes Wallie Roux.
The European Union needs to scale down its ambitions for accessing the service sector in southern Africa as it negotiates an economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the region, said South Africa’s deputy trade minister Rob Davies.
The fate of the Meatco researcher, who got suspended for expressing a sceptical opinion on the EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations in May, is yet to be decided.
As the December deadline for the signing of a European Union Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) member countries fast approaches without any sign of the deal being closed by then, European Union (EU) representatives in SA are growing frustrated and accuse Pretoria of procrastination over the negotiation.
Frustration is mounting in relations between the European Union and South Africa, in particular, in negotiations for an economic partnership agreement between the EU and the so-called Southern African Development Community group, comprising Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Tanzania and Mozambique.
With the partner states of the East African Community having agreed to negotiate an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Europe under one roof, Tanzania may be forced to count the cost of forgoing a relatively successful regional grouping in East Africa against political solidarity with Southern Africa’s regional power base — South Africa.
President Pakalitha Mosisili of Lesotho called on member states of SADC to address their obligations to ensure that the region realises the Free Trade Area by 2008 and a Customs Union by 2010, in preparation for the creation of a Common Market by 2015 and a common currency by 2018.
"When we try to negotiate as individual countries, we give the Europeans the ammunition to divide and discriminate against us", said Zimbabwe’s Deputy Minister of Information and Publicity Bright Matonga.
What does the “grand debate” about a United States of Africa have to do with the fate of SA’s provinces?
A top European Union official has been seeking to create divisions between South Africa and its neighbours in talks aimed at establishing a free trade deal, African diplomats have alleged.