SADC: A Free Trade Area is Born in Africa.

Monday, August 04, 2008  

SADCThe Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) will see its dream of having a free trade area materialize come August 17, 2008.

The free trade area (FTA) which will be launched during the SADC annual summit will usher in the removal of import and export tariffs and trade barriers among the SADC countries. It is expected that producers and consumers in the 12 SADC countries will be exempt from import tariffs on up to 85% of all goods traded. While this initiative will boost regional trade in Africa, it’s impact would have been felt had sister regional economic blocs such as the Economic Community of West African states which has virtually been moribund since its formation in 1975 were equally committed to intra-Africa trade. Had we been doing this for the past decade, our potential 800 million market would have accounted for more than treble the current paltry 10 %. We could even be in better bargaining position to increase our contribution to global trade from a miserable 2% to 40%. One day, one day.