There is cause for celebration following the meeting in Cairo of 26 African heads of state representing the countries that make up the three major trading blocs on the continent — the East African Community, Southern African Development Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa — for the formalisation of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) agreement.
The leaders endorsed a five-year negotiated framework that establishes preferential tariffs to ease the movement of goods and traders in a region of 625 million people.
The conference kick-started a process that will set up harmonised trade policies, the removal of trade barriers and a renewed promotion of trade facilitation.
The momentum for intra-African trade is strong, with real benefits in increased trade, global competitiveness, employment and higher incomes for the region, and the culmination of the African Union action plan in 2012 to double intra-Africa trade and fast-track a continental free trade area. Read more. Source | East African