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COMMUNIQUÉ: 3RD COMESA-EAC-SADC TRIPARTITE SUMMIT

COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE THIRD COMESA-EAC-SADC TRIPARTITE SUMMIT

Vision: TOWARDS A SINGLE MARKET

Theme: Deepening COMESA-EAC-SADC Integration

 

1.    The Heads of State and Government of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tripartite met on 10 June, 2015 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt and:

(a)    LAUNCHED the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area (Tripartite FTA);

(b)    RECOGNISED that the  Tripartite FTA represents an integrated market of  26 countries with a combined population of 632 million people which is 57% of Africa’s population; and with a total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of USD$ 1.3 Trillion (2014) contributes 58% of Africa’s GDP;

(c)    FURTHER RECOGNISED that the establishment of a Tripartite FTA will bolster intra-regional trade by creating a wider market , increase investment flows, enhance competitiveness and  encourage regional infrastructure development as well as pioneer the integration of the African continent;

(d)    REITERATED that the tripartite integration process is  based on a developmental approach anchored on three (3) pillars namely: Market Integration symbolized by the Tripartite FTA; Infrastructure Development to facilitate and enhance connectivity, communication and movement of goods and persons and reduce the cost of doing business;  and Industrial Development which will enhance competitiveness and address supply and productive capacity constraints; and

(e)    FURTHER REITERATED that the tripartite initiative is a decisive step to achieve the African vision of establishing the African Economic Community envisioned in the Lagos Plan of Action and the Final Act of Lagos of 1980, Abuja Treaty of 1991 as well as the Resolution of the African Union Summit held in Banjul, the Gambia in 2006 that directed the African Union Commission and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to harmonize and coordinate policies and programmes of RECs as important strategies for rationalization, increasing intra-Africa trade and investment, integration of tripartite economies in the global economy.

2.    The Third Tripartite Summit:

(a)    SIGNED the Sharm El Sheikh Declaration Launching the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area ;

(b)    SIGNED and opened for signature the Agreement establishing the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite FTA; 

(c)    ADOPTED the Post-signature Implementation Plan detailing activities that will be implemented at national and regional levels in fulfilment of provisions of the Tripartite FTA Agreement; 

(d)    DIRECTED that negotiations on outstanding issues from Phase I to operationalise the Tripartite FTA be concluded expeditiously;

(e)    DIRECTED the commencement of Phase II negotiations covering trade in services, cooperation in trade and development, competition policy, intellectual property rights and cross border investment; and

(f)    DIRECTED that programmes of work and roadmaps developed on the Industrialization and Infrastructure Pillars be well resourced and prioritized.

3.    The Tripartite Summit was attended by the following Heads of State and Government:

(a)    His Excellency Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt;

(b)    His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia;

(c)    His Excellency Prof. Peter Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi

(d)    His Excellency Dr. Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia;

(e)    His Excellency Omar Hassan Ahmed Al -Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan;

(f)    His Excellency Robert Gabriel Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.

4.    The following Plenipotentiaries represented their Heads of State and Government:

(a)    His Excellency Prosper Bazombanza, First Vice President of the Republic of Burundi
(b)    His Excellency Mohamed Ali Soilihi , Vice President of the Republic of the Union of the Comoros
(c)    His Excellency William S. Ruto, the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya
(d)    His Excellency Mr. Danny Faure, Vice President of the Republic of Seychelles
(e)    His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Gharib Bilal, Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania
(f)    His Excellency, Agostinho do Rosário, Prime Minister of the Republic of Mozambique
(g)    The Right Honourable, Anastase Murekezi, Prime Minister of the Republic of Rwanda
(h)    Honourable Dr. Job Graça, Minister of Planning, Republic of Angola
(i)    Honourable Mr. Vincent T. Seretse, Minister of Trade and Industry, Republic of Botswana
(j)    Honourable Raymond Tshibanda N’tungamulongo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Democratic Republic of Congo
(k)    Honourable Ilyas Moussa Dawaleh, Ministre de l’Economie et Finances Charge de l’Industrie, Republic of Djibouti
(l)    Honourable Mr. Joshua Setipa, Minister of Trade and Industry, Kingdom of Lesotho
(m)    Ambassador Fassil Ghebresallassie Tekle, State of Eritrea
(n)    Honourable Mr. Rabesahala Hemi, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Republic of Madagascar
(o)    Honourable Etienne Sinatambou, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Republic of Mauritius
(p)    Honourable Dr. Robert H. Davies, Minister for Trade and Industry, Republic of South Africa
(q)    His Royal Highness, Prince Hlangusemphi, Kingdom of Swaziland
(r)    Honourable Amelia Anne Kyambadde (MP), Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Republic of Uganda
(s)    Honourable Margaret D. Mwanakatwe, MP Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Republic of Zambia

5.    H.E. Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya, Secretary General of COMESA and Chairperson of the Tripartite Task Force, H.E. Ambassador Dr. Richard Sezibera, Secretary General of the EAC and H.E Dr. Stergomena  Lawrence Tax, Executive Secretary of SADC were also in attendance.

6.    The Following Organizations attended the Third Tripartite Summit as observers: the African Union Commission, African Development Bank, World Bank, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, United Nations Development Programme, Global Rights Network for Development, United Nations  Industrial Development Organisation and the Trade and Development Bank of Eastern and Southern Africa (PTA Bank.

7.    His Excellency, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, in his official opening remarks, welcomed all the Heads of State and Government, all dignitaries and delegates to the Third Tripartite Summit. He commended the Tripartite for the progress made in implementation of programmes in the three key pillars of market integration, infrastructure and industrialisation; in particular the finalisation of the negotiations leading to the launch of the Tripartite Free Trade Area which is  a step towards the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area. He underscored the importance of the Member/Partner States in working together to continue to deliver on the objectives of the Tripartite in light of the fact that the region is endowed with abundant resources required for development

8.    The Secretary General of COMESA, on behalf of the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Task Force, in his opening remarks provided a progress report on the Implementation of Decisions of the First and Second Tripartite Summits in Market Integration, Industrial Development and Infrastructure Development Pillars of the tripartite.

9.    In his remarks, His Excellency Jim Yong Kim the President of the World Bank commended the Tripartite for the progress made with the establishment of the Tripartite FTA and underscored the importance of reducing transactional costs.  He emphasised that in order to reduce poverty, the Tripartite FTA must be complemented by measures to improve education, access to finance and infrastructure. He reaffirmed that this was Africa’s moment and that the World Bank Group remained committed to mobilisation of the necessary resources for the effective implementation of development programmes through the participation of both the private and public sectors.

10.    In his remarks, His Excellency Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary General of UNCTAD underscored the need for Africa to enhance its competitiveness in international markets. He emphasised the pivotal importance of deployment of infrastructure as an enabler to efficient productivity and trade. He called upon the leaders to focus on action and expedite implementation of the Tripartite FTA building on the long term vision of building the African Economic Community. 

11.    His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in his remarks thanked the outgoing Chairman of the Tripartite Summit, His Excellency Robert Gabriel Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, for providing leadership during his tenure, and welcomed the conclusion of the negotiations. He stressed the importance of infrastructure and industrial development as drivers of economic and structural transformation across the Tripartite region.

12.    His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Gharib Bilal, Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania, in his remarks emphasised that any country that did not adapt to the increasingly globalised world would fail to benefit from trade. He welcomed the launch of the Tripartite FTA which is a milestone and paves the way for continental integration.

13.    His Excellency Robert Gabriel Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, in his remarks, called for the expeditious conclusion of negotiations on outstanding issues and for due prioritisation of industrial and infrastructure development to support trade. He handed over the Chairmanship of the Tripartite Summit to His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn, Chairperson of the Authority of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.

14.    The Third Tripartite Summit was officially opened by His Excellency Robert Gabriel Mugabe the outgoing Chairperson of the Tripartite and chaired by His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn Chairperson of the Authority  of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. The Chairperson was assisted by the Chairpersons of the Summits of the Southern African Development Community and the East African Community, as well as the Tripartite Task Force of the three Secretariats.

15.    The Tripartite Summit EXPRESSED its appreciation to the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Task Force for the preparatory work undertaken in preparing for the Third Tripartite Summit.

16.    The Tripartite Summit WELCOMED His Excellency Dr. Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia and His Excellency Prof. Peter Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi who recently took office. 

17.    The Tripartite Summit WELCOMED the offer by the Republic of Rwanda on behalf of the East African Community to host the Fourth Tripartite Summit.

18.    The Tripartite Summit, in a Vote of Thanks moved by His Excellency William S. Ruto, the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya, EXPRESSED appreciation to His Excellency Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Government and people of Egypt, for the warm and fraternal hospitality extended to all the delegations. He assured the Summit that Kenya would deploy the required resources to operationalize the Secretariat for the Tripartite FTA. He welcomed all delegations to the Fourth Tripartite Summit to be hosted by the Republic of Rwanda.

19.    In his closing remarks, His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia thanked all Heads of State and Government and plenipotentiaries present for their participation. He especially thanked His Excellency, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and President of the Arab Republic of Egypt for having hosted a successful Third Tripartite Summit.

20.    His Excellency, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, in his closing statementCONGRATULATED all his colleagues for the historic Tripartite Summit which launched the Tripartite FTA, a key milestone in the integration of Africa. He thanked them for their attendance and looked forward to the continuation of the rationalization and deepening of the integration process in Africa.

21.    The Tripartite Summit ADOPTED its Communique as read by Ambassador Dr. Richard Sezibera, Secretary General of the EAC.

DONE at Sharm El Sheikh, Arab Republic of Egypt on the 10 June 2015, in Arabic, English, French and Portuguese languages, all texts being equally authentic.