The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) tripartite Summit of Heads of States and Government which met in Kampala Uganda on 22nd October expressed concern at the current global financial crisis undermining the economic stability of the world.
The Summit, whose theme was ‘Deepening COMESA-EAC-SADC Integration’ noted that the global financial crisis poses a serious threat to the growth of African economies particularly in terms of demand for African exports of goods and services, tourism, foreign direct investment and the achievement of the MDGs.
This is contained in a final communiqué read by Ambassador Juma Mwapachu, the Secretary General of EAC and made available to ZANIS in Lusaka today.
The communiqué noted that the tripartite summit called for a collective action to help African and other developing and least developed countries to address the adverse impact of the financial crisis and the global economic meltdown.
The summit further urged international financial institutions to adopt effective remedial measures to mitigate the risks.
It also noted the continued world food crisis and agreed to make strategic interventions to exploit the potential of African economies in the production of food and enhance accessibility to all markets.
The tripartite summit agreed on a programme of harmonizing trading arrangements amongst the three Regional Economic Communities (RECS).
In the area of trade, customs and economic integration, the tripartite summit approved the expeditious establishment of the Free Trade Area (FTA) encompassing the member and partner states of the three RECS with an ultimate goal of establishing a single Customs Union.
In the area of infrastructure, the tripartite summit launched the Joint Competition Authority (JCA) on Air Transport Liberalization which will oversee the full implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision on Air Transport in the three RECS commencing in January next year.
The JCA comprises seven members, two members each from the EAC, COMESA and SADC plus a Chairperson on a rotational basis.
With regard to the Legal and Institutional Framework, the tripartite summit directed the Council of Ministers of each of the three RECs to within six months consider and approve the memorandum of understanding on inter-regional cooperation and integration which should also provide for the powers of each decision making level.