The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) constitutes a regional integration grouping of 20 African countries that have agreed to pursue such integration through trade development. The member countries are

  • Angola
  • Madagascar
  • Burundi
  • Malawi
  • Comoros
  • Mauritius
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Rwanda
  • Djibouti
  • Seychelles
  • Egypt
  • Sudan Swaziland
  • Eritrea
  • Uganda
  • Ethiopia
  • Zambia
  • Kenya
  • Zimbabwe
  • Libya
Demographic Statistics
Population over 400 million
GDP US $ 360
Population growth rate, average 2.45%
Life expectancy, average 52 years

COMESA was established in 1994 to replace the Preferential Trade Area (PTA) for Eastern and Southern Africa which had existed since 1981.

The areas teted for integration in COMESA are:
Trade in goods and services;
Investment promotion and facilitation;
Infrastructure development;
Electronic commerce, and
Peace and security

According to agreement between Comesa's members, member countries would adopt a common tariff nomenclature, maintain a common external tariff, and approve common customs legislation, regulations, and procedures. This includes measures relating to the valuation of imports and clearance procedures for imports. Under a customs union, the member countries would adopt a common policy regarding imports, including the circumstances under which they would grant exemptions from payment of duty.

In 2000 all the tariff barriers were eliminated among the member states and COMESA achieved its goal of free trade.

Apart from economic progression other objectives are:
Introduction of a computerized system of trade and promoting trade liberalization.
Enhance the communication system among the countries.
Encouraging the private sector and creating a legalized system of work.
Establishing a harmony between the macroeconomic and and monetary policies in the region.

Independent Institutions of COMESA
The Eastern and Southern Africa Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank)
The PTA Re-insurance Company

COMESA Court Justice:
The Leather and Leather Products Institute
The COMESA Metallurgical Industries Association (COMESAMIA)‏
The Eastern and Southern Africa Business Association (ESABO)‏
The Federation of National Association of Women in Business in COMESA (FEMCOM)
The Pharmaceutical Manufacturers of Eastern and Southern Africa (PHARMESA)
The COMESA Bankers Association (BAPTA)‏

Ethiopia is one of the founding countries of COMESA.
Status of Implementation of COMESA Programs in Ethiopia

Exchange rates are market determined through the daily inter-bank market which was introduced in October 2001.
Ethiopia is the founding member of the PTA/COMESA bank.
The National Bank of Ethiopia is the founding member of the clearing house.
Ethiopia has in principle accepted to be a member of the African Trade Insurance Agency and requested the Secretariat to provide it with the necessary information on the Agency as to undertake a study before joining the Agency.

Quick Links