The Director of Trade of the East African Community (EAC), Mr. Rashid Kibowa, held discussions with the SADC Executive Secretary, H.E. Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax on 2nd June, 2016. The two parties discussed matters of mutual interest to SADC and the EAC, including the operationalisation of the SADC, EAC and COMESA Tripartite Free Trade Area.
Mr. Kibowa reaffirmed the EAC's commitment to operationalize the Tripartite free Trade Area following the historical launch of the Tripartite Free Trade Area at the 3rd Tripartite Summit in June, 2015 in Sharm el Sheikh- Egypt. He noted that the EAC is committed to ensure that the timelines agreed upon for conclusion of priority actions by June 2016 are achieved, including finalization of exchange of tariff offers, and signing and ratification of the TFTA Agreement.
Dr. Tax welcomed Mr. Kibowa to the SADC Secretariat, and appreciated the commitment that the EAC has shown in following up the implementation of the Sharm el Sheikh Declaration. She pointed out that the SADC Secretariat equally attach great importance to the operationalization of the Tripartite Free Trade Area, and that she was optimistic that Member States of the Tripartite will ensure that the Free Trade Area is operationalized within this year.
Mr. Kibowa is in Gaborone, Botswana for a meeting relating to operationalisation of the SADC, EAC and COMESA Tripartite Free Trade Area.