Opening on May 22 in Cairo, the sixth COMESA (Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa) summit will discuss ways in which to further the economic interests of its member states, according to Xinhua News Agency.
Last October, the group established a free trade area (FTA) as a first step towards creating a single currency zone and a customs union, expected to be established in 2004. So far, nine of the 20 nations have joined the FTA ― Zambia, Sudan, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Malawi, Egypt, Kenya and Djibouti. Leaders of these countries will review a report prepared by COMESA’s secretariat on the FTA at the summit.
In a pre-summit meeting of COMESA ministers this week, Egyptian Prime Minister Atef Obeid told members that the organization should develop a well-planned program with clear goals so as to successfully deal with international technological trends.
Since its founding in 1994, COMESA member has acquired a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of approximately $170 billion, with a total population of 380 million, spread over an area of more than 32 million square kilometers. — (MENA Report)
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