Regional Co-operation

EA Common Market – It is a Deal
The Parliament ratified the East Africa Common Market Protocol officially assigning Tanzania to the regional arrangement to be implemented fully in July 2010. The Protocol was ratified after MPs slackened their stand, from the hard line position they expressed while discussing the Protocol.

However, they sounded a warning when debating the Protocol, appealing to the government to make the necessary arrangements that would benefit Tanzanians and the country in the newly adopted system. They also asked the government to ensure that it conducts extensive public awareness campaign so as to empower Tanzanians and enable them actively participate in the regional trade.

SADC to ‘Integrate’ Trade Efforts
Members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) need to integrate their trade objectives in order to strengthen the bloc’s trade position with Asia. SADC has a wealth of resources which put it in a position to exploit its advantage over a “resource-hungry” Asia.

As more countries recover from the economic crisis, demand for commodities will increase, giving the community a chance to increase its trade volumes, which had suffered during the crisis. This would allow the region and Africa at large to attract more investment needed to make up an investment gap of US$93bn.The region needs to finance this lag through investment as it is too big to be financed through fiscal policy, aid or a combination of both.

COMESA to Miss Deadline for FTA
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya warned member countries that the regional body might fail to achieve a duty free trade area (FTA) by 2012 as planned due to delays by some countries to submit their tariff alignments proposals.

He said member countries of the regional bloc should be prepared to make ‘hard’ political decisions in order to achieve its objective of creating a Customs Union (CU) with same tariff charges. COMESA, a trade body of 19 countries across the African continent, launched a CU in June 2009 in the resort town of Victoria Falls where the Heads of State agreed on a three year transitional period to fully implement the CU.