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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


    Fresh push for states to ratify the tripartite FTA as deadline draws near
    The deadline set by the Tripartite Council of Ministers for member States of three regional economic blocs to sign and ratify the tripartite free trade area lapses this month.
    South Africa deposits the instrument of ratification of the agreement establishing the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA)
    The deposit of the instrument means that South Africa has formally and legally committed to the TFTA.
    World chambers in Nairobi for free trade pact forum
    Nairobi will from Tuesday host an African Chambers forum to help fast track realisation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) as well as prepare businesses for the block.
    COMESA welcomes SA’s ratification of the Tripartite FTA
    South Africa has ratified the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement, becoming the fourth country to do so after Egypt, Uganda and Kenya. 10 more ratifications are now needed for the Agreement to enter into force.
    Slow progress on Tripartite Free Trade Area hurting trade
    The slow pace at which member states of the Tripartite Free Trade Area Agreement (TFTA) are committing to the bloc, has derailed the enforcement of the treaty and trade in one of Africa’s largest economic zones.
    S/African gov’t approves African tripartite FTA pact, industrial action plan
    The TFTA seeks to establish an enlarged market involving 27 member countries from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the East African Community and Southern African Development Community.
    Botswana signs tripartite free trade area agreement
    Botswana signed a tripartite free trade area agreement which marked a milestone in the trade agenda of the African Union.
    East Africa: Cabinet approves the ratification of the Tripartite Free Trade Area
    The Ugandan Cabinet has approved the ratification of the EAC-COMESA-SADC Tripartite Free Area Agreement (FTA), paving way for the implementation of the Agreement.
    Official: African states to meet deadline to establish trading bloc
    The Tripartite Free Trade Area will comprise 28 countries, cover approximately 18.3 million square kilometers and hold about 61 percent of the continent’s population.
    Madagascar signs tripartite free trade agreement
    The agreement brings together three regional economic communities – COMESA, EAC and SADC – into a single free trade area covering 57% of Africa’s population with a combined GDP of US$1.3 trillion as of 2015