|Official Name||Union of the Comoros|
|Location||Southern Africa, group of islands at the northern mouth of the Mozambique Channel, about two-thirds of the way between northern Madagascar and northern Mozambique|
|Area||total: 2,170 sq km land: 2,170 sq km water: 0 sq km|
|Climate||tropical marine; rainy season (November to May)|
|Terrain||volcanic islands, interiors vary from steep mountains to low hills|
The leaders of three African trading blocs signed an agreement to create a free trade zone of 26 countries with a GDP of an estimated $624bn (£382.9bn). It is hoped the deal will ease access to markets within the region and end problems arising from the fact several countries belong to multiple groups.The deal also aims to strengthen the bloc's bargaining power when negotiating international deals.Analysts say the agreement will help intra-regional trade and boost growth.The three blocs which struck the deal were the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa).The agreement will also lend its backing to joint infrastructure and energy projects in the zone.
The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is a United States Trade Act that significantly enhances U.S. market access for (currently) 39 Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. The Act originally covered the 8-year period from October 2000 to September 2008, but amendments signed into law by U.S.President George Bush in July 2004 further extend AGOA to 2015. At the same time, a special dispensation relating to apparel was extended by three years to 2007. On 20 December 2006, key changes to AGOA were signed into law, extending the garment provisions to 2012. In June 2007, a revised textile certificate of origin was published to give effect to the "abundant supply" provisions contained in the most recent legislative changes.AGOA builds on existing U.S. trade programs by expanding the (duty-free) benefits previously available only under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) program. Duty-free access to the U.S. market under the combined AGOA/GSP program stands at approximately 7,000 product tariff lines, including the roughly 1,800 product tariff lines that were added to the GSP by the AGOA legislation. Notably, these include items such as apparel and footwear, wine, certain motor vehicle components, a variety of agricultural products, chemicals, steel and others. The purpose of this legislation was to assist the economies of sub-Saharan Africa and to improve economic relations between the United States and the region.
The Cotonou Agreement is aimed at the reduction and eventual eradication of poverty while contributing to sustainable development and to the gradual integration of ACP countries into the world economy. The revised Cotonou Agreement is also concerned with the fight against impunity and promotion of criminal justice through the International Criminal Court. The agreement also provides for reciprocal trade agreements, meaning that not only the EU provides duty-free access to its markets for ACP exports, but ACP countries also provide duty-free access to their own markets for EU exports.
CEN-SAD is a Regional Economic community of the Organization of African Unity. The organization looks to implementing a community that comprises of sustained socio-economic development. CEN-SAD looks to free movement of persons, capitals and interests of nationals of members. Right of establishment, ownership and exercise of economic activity. Last, free trade and movement of goods, commodities and services from members.