World, Economy, Africa

African trade bloc urges parties to ratify free trade

COMESA Summit 2018 final communique urges ratification of tripartite free trade agreement

20.07.2018
African trade bloc urges parties to ratify free trade File photo

By Satuk Bugra Kutlugun

ANKARA 

The 20th Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) urged the member countries to ratify a tripartite free trade agreement.

The COMESA Summit 2018 summit ended in Zambia's capital Lusaka on Thursday evening.

The final communique released by the Africa's largest trade bloc after the summit urged the member countries to ratify the free trade agreement signed by the COMESA, East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional blocs.

The tripartite free trade agreement was launched in June 2015 and set a stage for the establishment of a single market for the 26 African countries in the eastern and southern region, Xinhua news agency said.

The trade bloc on Wednesday added Somalia and Tunisia as members.

The announcement came at the official opening the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) summit in Lusaka, Zambia.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by heads of state from member countries of COMESA.

Chileshe Kapwepwe from Zambia became the first woman to head the trade bloc. She was preceded by Sindiso Ngwenya, a Zimbabwean economist.

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