Briefing from ROAPE Volume 28 Number 87
COMESA - Africa's First Free Trade Area
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has created Africa's first Free Trade Area (FTA), which guarantees the free movement of goods and services and the removal of all tariff and non-tariff barriers. African leaders praised the launch as the first step towards the creation of an African Economic Community. Nine of COMESA's 20 members - Djibouti, Egypt, Mauritius, Madagascar, Malawi, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Sudan - were in the first wave of countries entering the FTA when it was formally launched in the Zambian capital of Lusaka on 31 October 2000.