Resources

tralac maintains a collection of regional and national trade-related resources including copies of the texts and annexes of regional and bilateral trade agreements, copies of various regional protocols, memoranda of understanding and tariff offers, and copies of national legislation and trade-related policy documents.

These resources can be accessed below by regional bloc (use the maps to navigate to each regional resources page) and by country.

View and Download

Users need to be registered in order to access all Resource documents on this site

Login

Register


* Registration is free of charge and for statistical monitoring purposes only. By registering as a member on this site, you agree to abide by tralac's Terms and Conditions.

Regional blocs

COMESA

COMESA

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) was established on 8 December 1994, replacing the Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern Africa (PTA) established in 1981. COMESA launched a Free Trade Area in October 2000, followed by a Customs Union in June 2009 which is yet to be operational. COMESA comprises 19 Member States: Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

EAC

EAC

The East African Community (EAC) was established on 7 July 2000 as a regional intergovernmental organisation. Regional trade integration is a cornerstone of EAC members’ trade policies. The first regional integration milestone, the EAC Customs Union, was launched in 2005, followed by the second milestone, a Common Market, in 2010. The EAC currently consists of six member states: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, and mostly recently, South Sudan.

SADC

SADC

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) was established on 17 August 1992 with the adoption of the SADC Treaty, redefining the existing Southern African Development Coordinating Conference which was established in 1980. SADC launched its Free Trade Area in August 2008 with maximum tariff liberalisation attained by January 2012. SADC currently has 15 Member States: Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

SACU

SACU

The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) was established in 1910 between Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa. It is the oldest Customs Union in existence. The SACU Agreement was renegotiated in 1969 when Namibia gained independence from South Africa and became a contracting party to the Agreement. It was subsequently renegotiated amongst the five member countries in the mid-1990s which culminated in the signing of the new SACU Agreement in October 2002.

Status of regional integration in Africa

The African Union remains committed to implementing its regional integration agenda through its 8 Regional Economic Communities (RECs): COMESA, EAC, and SADC in the east and southern Africa region, along with ECCAS, ECOWAS, IGAD, AMU, and CEN-SAD covering Central, West and Northern Africa. Although some significant progress has been made to date, the multiplicity of inter-governmental organisations in Africa (currently 14) and overlapping memberships in the RECs poses a challenge for African integration and the implementation of regional agreements. Click on the maps to find out more.

TFTA

TFTA

The member states of COMESA, the EAC and SADC agreed in October 2008 to negotiate a Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA). The TFTA was officially launched in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt on 10 June 2015 where Heads of State and Government had met to conclude outstanding negotiations on rules of origin, trade remedies and tariff offers. However, due to a number of challenges faced in the process, the deadline of June 2016 was not met, and the commencement of Phase II negotiations – covering trade in services and other trade related matters – has been delayed pending the conclusion of negotiations on Phase I issues.

CFTA

CFTA

In January 2012, the 18th African Union Assembly adopted a decision to establish a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) by an indicative date of 2017. The Summit also endorsed an Action Plan on Boosting Intra-African Trade (BIAT). The CFTA will bring together 54 African countries with a combined population of more than one billion people and a combined gross domestic product of more than US$3.4 trillion. Negotiators are currently considering revised CFTA negotiations modalities as well as draft legal texts and annexes on trade in goods and trade in services.

African Union resources

African Union resources

With a view to accelerating the process of economic and political integration in the continent, the Constitutive Act of the African Union was adopted in 2000 at the Lome Summit in Togo and entered into force in 2001. Africa is pursuing an integration agenda as a collective development and transformation strategy, leading to the eventual creation of a continental market. With the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) as building blocks, the AU is working towards the eventual establishment of an African Economic Community (AEC) in which economic, fiscal, social and sectoral policies will be continentally uniform.

Africa’s external relations

Africa’s external relations

As Africa confronts the challenges of the evolving international trade landscape and global economy, the nature of its trading relationships has been undergoing significant shifts. While trade with its traditional trading partners, particularly the European Union and the United States, has been declining, trade ties with emerging economies and global players, notably the BRICS, has been steadily increasing. Africa also remains committed to pursuing regional integration initiatives that can contribute meaningfully to increased intra-African trade.