KAMPALA, UGANDA – Uganda is to join other members of the East African Community (EAC) who are already part of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Free Trade Area (FTA).
Amelia Kyambade , the Ugandan trade minister said recently that Uganda will by July 1, 2013 start implementing accession to the COMESA Free Trade Area.
The FTA was launched on October 31, 2000 with nine member states.
This was the first FTA in Africa under the African Union with membership in the area now standing at 13 member states trading on a full duty free and quota free basis. The remaining countries are at various stages of joining the area.
The FTA has boosted intra COMESA trade, increasing it by nearly six-fold from
$3.1 billion in 2000 to $17.4 billion in 2011.
Member states who are both members of COMESA and the FTA include Burundi, Djibouti, Egypt, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Sudan, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Comoros while the non free trade area countries but members of COMESA include Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan among others.
While opening the 17th meeting of the COMESA Bureau of Council at Radisson Blu Hotel in Lusaka, Zambia, Kyambadde said that the bureau was eager to deliberate and also receive the Secretary-General’s report on the progress made since the November 2012 Summit meetings.
“As you may all know, the architecture of the COMESA organs mandates the Bureau of Council to churn out details of council decisions in a manner as to guide progress towards attaining COMESA council and summit objectives,: she noted.
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