From PTA to Comesa: the quest for sub-regional economic integration in eastern and southern Africa

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) started as the Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern African States (PTA), whose establishment dates back to 1977. The ultimate objective of the PTA was the generation of self-sustaining growth and development. The PTA Treaty, which was signed by nine countries on 21 December 1981, was therefore all embracing and provided for cooperation in all major economic sectors. The implementation of its provisions was to be phased over a given period. During the first phase, emphasis was to be on promoting intra-subregional trade. The progressive reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers in respect of commodities of export-import interest originating from within PTA member-States and appearing on a Common List began on 1 July 1984. On 8 December 1994 the PTA was transformed into the Comesa when the Comesa Treaty came into force. Comesa is viewed as the gateway to growth, development and regional integration into the 21st century. Over the years it has recorded important achievements in the areas of trade and customs, monetary and fiscal harmonization, transport and communications facilitation, industrial development, and agriculture. Notes, ref.

Title: From PTA to Comesa: the quest for sub-regional economic integration in eastern and southern Africa
Author: Gondwe, Michael
Year: 1998
Periodical: African Yearbook of International Law
Volume: 6
Pages: 3-22
Language: English
Geographic terms: East Africa
Southern Africa
Subject: COMESA
Abstract: The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) started as the Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern African States (PTA), whose establishment dates back to 1977. The ultimate objective of the PTA was the generation of self-sustaining growth and development. The PTA Treaty, which was signed by nine countries on 21 December 1981, was therefore all embracing and provided for cooperation in all major economic sectors. The implementation of its provisions was to be phased over a given period. During the first phase, emphasis was to be on promoting intra-subregional trade. The progressive reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers in respect of commodities of export-import interest originating from within PTA member-States and appearing on a Common List began on 1 July 1984. On 8 December 1994 the PTA was transformed into the Comesa when the Comesa Treaty came into force. Comesa is viewed as the gateway to growth, development and regional integration into the 21st century. Over the years it has recorded important achievements in the areas of trade and customs, monetary and fiscal harmonization, transport and communications facilitation, industrial development, and agriculture. Notes, ref.