SADC-EAC-COMESA Tripartite FTA.
26 countries with a combined GDP of US$860 billion and a combined population of approximately 590 million people.
The Tripartite Framework derives its basis from the Lagos Plan of Action and the Abuja Treaty establishing the African Economic Community (AEC), which requires rationalisation of the continent’s regional economic communities. The FTA will be negotiated over the next three years, with the possibility of an additional two years for completion.
The Tripartite initiative comprises three pillars that will be pursued concurrently, in order to ensure an equitable spread of the benefits of regional integration: market integration, infrastructure development and industrial development. The FTA will, as a first phase, cover only trade in goods; services and other trade-related areas will be covered in a second phase.