African Partners Directory

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Thematics

Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

est. December 1994

OVERVIEW

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is a free trade area within nineteen member states. Founded in December 1994, COMESA aims to be a fully integrated, internationally competitive regional economic community with high standards of living for its entire people ready to merge into an African Economic Community.

The free trade area began with nine member states in 2000 (Djibouti, Egypt, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe) and later expanded to include members of two other African trade-blocks, the Eastern African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

OBJECTIVES

  • To achieve sustainable economic and social progress in all Member States through increased co-operation and integration in all fields of development
  • To emphasise the integration of the economic space through removal of trade and investment barriers
  • To improve the investment sector and make it more attractive for investment in the productive sectors
  • To work with governments in COMESA to create the space and environment where the private sector can play its rightful role as the main driver of the economic integration process
  • To provide technical services to COMESA in order to facilitate the regions sustained development through economic integration