News from the RECS
Work continues to bring the SADC, EAC, and COMESA closer together. Meanwhile, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is urging Malawi to complete the process of ratifying the Tripartite Free Trade Area Agreement (TFTA). The trade agreement will facilitate the free movement of goods, services, and business persons among COMESA member states and stimulate economic activities. So far, 11 countries have ratified the agreement, which brings together 28 countries with a population of over 700 million and a combined gross domestic product of US$1.4tn, but 14 endorsements are needed to implement it.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has officially joined the 6-nation East Africa Community (EAC), adding more than 90m population to the regional trading bloc. The mineral-rich country already has established trade ties with most of the EAC member states through bilateral deals and at the multilateral levels. DRC is already a key African market for Kenyan firms. The DRC is also affiliated with the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Meanwhile, the East African Business Council is calling upon the business community especially manufacturers to emphasize quality and value addition if they are to achieve their dream of competing under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area AfCFTA). This follows a recent meeting of CEOs from various companies across the country. The meeting was organised by the Uganda Manufacturers Association to gauge the readiness of the East African companies to compete with other African countries under the AfCFTA.
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