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TFTA

Since 2008, there was talk about merging the member states of COMESA, the East African Community (EAC, with five members) and the Southern Africa Development Cooperation (SADC, with 14 members). In 2011, leaders of the 26 African countries within these three existing regional economic communities announced plans to negotiate a tripartite free trade area between them which would, cover over 600 million people and an estimated US$1 trillion in trade. In June 2011 in Johannesburg governments adopted the negotiating principles, modalities for negotiations and a roadmap for negotiating such an agreement at the 2nd Comesa-EAC-Sadc Summit. The first negotiating round was held in Nairobi in December 2011 and in June 2015 the "Tripartite Free Trade Area" or #TFTA was finally signed. It now needs to be ratified by the assemblies of parliaments of each member state to come into effect.

The texts of the FTA are here: http://www.tralac.org/resources/by-region/comesa-eac-sadc-tripartite-fta.html.

This agreement is to form the precursor of a continental Africa-wide FTA or CFTA.

last update: June 2015
photo: Tahrir Institute


    EAC, Comesa, Sadc merger into seamless market begins Thursday
    At least 14 countries will trade freely within East, Central, and Southern Africa following the ratification of a Tripartite Free Trade Area Agreement.
    EAC-Comesa-SADC tripartite trade deal in place by April, Ruto says
    The EAC-Comesa-SADC tripartite agreement will be in place by the end of April 2023, President William Ruto has said.
    EAC-Comesa-SADC tripartite trade deal in place by April, Ruto says
    The EAC-Comesa-SADC tripartite agreement will be in place by the end of April 2023, President William Ruto has said.
    Kenya eyes more regional trade after pact with two blocs kicks off in March
    Kenya could soon start exporting its goods outside the East African Community (EAC) market with the implementation of a tripartite agreement that is expected to be implemented in March this year.
    EAC-COMESA-SADC tripartite not ratified 7 years on
    The EAC-COMESA-SADC Tripartite FTA agreement has a total of 29 member countries representing 53% of the AU membership and more than 60% of the Africa Continent GDP ($1.88 Trillion) with a population of over 800 million people.
    New deadline set for ratification of Tripartite Free Trade Area
    Ministers from the tripartite group of regional economic communities in eastern and southern Africa have set June 2021 as the deadline to achieve the threshold of 14 ratifications required to enable the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) enter into force.
    Zambia ratifies tripartite free trade area agreement
    Zambia has become the latest country to ratify the Tripartite Free Trade Area, bringing the number of countries that have ratified the agreement and deposited the instruments to nine. The agreement, being pursued by COMESA, the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), needs a total of 14 countries to enter into force.
    Sadc takes over Tripartite economic group leadership
    Under market integration, 22 countries out of 28 have now signed the TFTA Agreement, while eight have signed and ratified.
    Implementation of the Tripartite FTA agreement now in sight
    Namibia is the latest to ratify the TFTA agreement. Seven countries are expected to complete the ratification process before the end of this year paving the way for its implementation.
    More countries ratify tripartite free trade area agreement
    Namibia has become the eighth country to ratify the Tripartite Free Trade Area. Six more countries are required for the agreement to enter into force.