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Signature of the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (TFTA) on 10 June 2015: the first step towards a united African free trade bloc?

Published on July 10, 2015

On 10 June 2015 the TFTA was signed in Cairo, uniting three of Africa’s principal trading blocs: the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). The TFTA consists of a US$1.2 trillion free trade area, incorporating 26 African nations, a population of 632 million, and an area of 17.3 million square kilometers, stretching from Cape Town to Cairo.

During recent years there has been much talk of the potential benefits of creating an integrated African commercial bloc; the TFTA may be seen as the first tangible sign of action being taken.

Following signature of the TFTA, negotiations to broaden its territorial ambit to West African nations opened on 15 June 2015 at the African Union (AU) summit in Johannesburg. According to the AU, the ultimate aim is to establish an intra-continental market benefiting from a youthful, fast-growing population of about 1 billion and a combined GDP of US$3 trillion. Read more. Source| Lexology