Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) | IAS Target IAS Target

Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

COMESA is a free trade area with twenty-one member states stretching from Tunisia to Eswatini. It was established in December 1994, replacing a Preferential Trade Area. COMESA is one of the pillars of the African Economic Community.
  • Rwanda and Burundi joined the FTA in 2004
  • Nine of the member states formed a free trade area in 2000 (Kenya, Djibouti, Egypt, Madagascar, Malawi, Sudan, Mauritius, Zambia and Zimbabwe).
    • Seychelles in 2009
    • Comoros and Libya in 2006
    • Tunisia and Somalia in 2018

    In 2008, COMESA agreed to including members of two other African trade blocs:

    • The East African Community (EAC)
    • The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

    Secretariat Zambia Lusaka, Zambia
    Official languages English, French, Portuguese
    Membership 21 Member States
    • Agreement Signed - 5 November 1993
    • Ratified - 8 December 1994


    COMESA Authority The COMESA Authority, composes of Heads of States or Government and it is COMESA’s supreme policy-making organ.
    The COMESA Council of Ministers
    COMESA Court of Justice The COMESA Court of Justice decisions have preference over any decisions of national courts.