CAIRO: The eighth meeting of the biggest African economic blocs’ tripartite summit has launched Sunday in Sharm el-Sheikh, to establish a free trade zone between the 26 member states, Youm7 reported.
The African blocs are Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community (EAC.)
The meeting will witness the signing of the African Trade Zone (AFTZ) agreement between Africa’s top three economic blocs, which will be merged into a new 26-nation free trade zone.
An official meeting between trade ministers of the 26 African states is to be held Monday and the meetings will end by the presidential summit on June 10, according to Egyptian Commercial Service chairman, Ali al-Leithy.
Presidents of the countries are to arrive in Sharm el-Sheikh on Tuesday, preparing to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s meeting with them Wednesday, Youm7 reported.
“Hosting an event that big assures that Egypt regains its leading role in the African continent,” Leithy said.
Moreover, a press conference will be held on Monday, in the presence of Egypt’s Minister of Trade, Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour and the ministers of the 26 countries, to announce the results reached during the close discussions.
This agreement will facilitate reaching 625 million consumers from South Africa to Egypt, and create a free trade union comprising more than 60 percent of the continent’s economic activity, according to Kenyan business newspaper Business Daily Africa.