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WAI-ZEI Paper No. 29 / 2016

Manuel Guilherme Júnior: The COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area – New Regionalism and Lessons from the EU. Praia/Bonn 2016.

The WAI-ZEI paper at hand analyzes the situation of the regional integration process in Africa with a particular focus on the Tripartite Agreement between the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), signed in June 2015 and evaluates the lessons to be learned from the European Union’s experience.

Including 26 countries from within the African continent and representing a population of about 600 million people (almost half of the continent), the Tripartite Agreement is one of the trade agreements with the broadest regional impact and represents a very significant step towards the realization of the Africa Free Trade Area, envisaged in the various instruments of the African Union (AU). However, the negotiation of this instrument comprised several stages and corresponded to the need to overcome some constraints resulting from the dual affiliation of member states in regional integration schemes, hindering the achievement of the objectives proposed by the regional integration organizations.

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