Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa)

Established: By treaty signed November 5, 1993, in Kampala, Uganda; effective as of December 8, 1994.

Purpose: To promote wide-ranging regional economic cooperation, particularly in the areas of agriculture, industry, transportation, and communications; to facilitate intraregional trade through the reduction or elimination of trade barriers and the establishment of regional financial institutions; to establish a common external tariff and internal free trade zone; and to pursue “economic prosperity through regional integration.”

Headquarters: Lusaka, Zambia.

Principal Organs: Authority of Heads of State and Government, Council of Ministers, Committee of Governors, Intergovernmental Committee, Court of Justice, Secretariat.

Web site:

Secretary General: Erastus J. O. Mwencha (Kenya).

Membership (19): Angola (inactive and often not counted as a member), Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, ...

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