(Ecofin Agency) - Since July 18, Tunisia officially became the 20th member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). This membership is set to enter into effect during the member-countries’ Heads of Government and State Summit, which started July 19 in Lusaka (Zambia).
According to Khemaïes Jhinaoui, Tunisian minister of foreign affairs, “once this membership is approved, Tunisia gets rights into the tripartite free-trade zone made of COMESA, Eastern African Community, and Southern Africa Development Community. This includes nearly half of Africa’s countries”.
Let’s mention that Tunisia first submitted a membership request in 2005, then waited 2017 to relaunch the process, which was finalized last October. Other member countries include Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Founded in 1994, COMESA, is a large market of over 520 million people with a GDP of around $755 million.