Public Communication

Date 25/05/2015

The Tripartite Summit of the Heads of State and Government of COMESA, EAC and SADC agreed in 2008 in Uganda to establish a Grand Free Trade Area among the Member/Partner States of the tree Regional Economic Communities (RECs). This would culminate in a merger of the three RECs into a single REC aimed at attaining the African Economic Community.

The Tripartite Sectoral Ministerial Committee of Senior Officials on Legal Affairs, Trade, Finance, Customs, Economic Matters And Home/Internal Affairs being a higher level negotiation structure within Tripartite comprising of Permanent/Principal Secretaries from the 26 member states met consider a number of reports on 25th -27th May, 2015 at Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

The Kenyan Delegation was headed by the Principal Secretary for East Africa Affair, Mr. John Konchellah seated next to the Director for Economic Affairs from Foreign Affairs, Amb. Nelson Ndirangu.

In the meeting, (Permanent/Principal secretaries) are to make a decision on the Draft Tripartite Free Trade Agreement that has undergone legal scrubbing, the Road map for concluding the outstanding issues under the Draft Free Trade Agreement and finally declaration to launch of the Second phase of negotiations. Further, the senior officials are to provide guidance on the Rules Of Origin (ROO) and creation of a lean secretariat for the Tripartite.

The meeting comes before the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Summit of the Heads of State and Government scheduled for 6th -10th June, 2015 at Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt where they will sign the endorsed Draft Free Trade Agreement and declaration to launch of the Second phase of negotiations. It is agreed that 50% plus one of the Member/Partner States of those that will have signed and ratified the agreement in the Summit or 12 months afterwards will be the threshold.

More information to follow in the subsequent session of the Tripartite Sectoral Committee of Ministers on Legal Affairs, Trade, Finance, Customs, Economic Matters And Home/Internal Affairs.

END.