This is a significant step for Africa with implications on other trading nations. A market of about $1 trillion and 600 million people is huge . Reducing and removing trade restriction will bring greater efficiencies and help alleviate poverty.
“The leaders adopted a developmental approach to the Tripartite Integration process that will be anchored on three pillars namely; the market integration based on the Tripartite Free Trade Area, infrastructure development to enhance connectivity and reduce costs of doing business as well as Industrial development to address the productive capacity constraints.
The proposed Grand Free Trade Area would merge three existing blocs including the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), the East African Community (EAC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa).
Dock workers handle containers at an African port.
The bloc would include 26 countries, stretching from Cape Town in South Africa to Cairo in Egypt. The integration is expected to help African countries improve their capacity to trade, increase investments on the continent and unleash the enormous economic growth and development potential of Africa.”