Working Papers

The economic and agricultural policy setting for the tripartite Free Trade Agreement

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01 Mar 2011

Author(s): Ron Sandrey and Nick Vink

tralac has been collaborating with the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) in South Africa during the past year on a project which focuses on the proposed Tripartite Free Trade Area (FTA). The Tripartite FTA is envisaged to consist of the 26 member states of the East African Community (EAC), the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), establishing a free trade area stretching from Cape to Cairo. The research papers focus on different aspects of the trade in goods agenda; including a review of intra-African trade and agri-business development in this region. These papers are included in a book, entitled Cape to Cairo – an Assessment of the Tripartite Free Trade Area.

In this paper the economic fundamentals of the tripartite countries are explained in order to place these countries’ economies in perspective before continuing to examine the agricultural policy settings of the countries in order to similarly place their agricultural sectors in perspective. Data on the economic settings is sourced from the United Nations World Development Indicators, the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) websites, with the most consistent recently available data used.


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