|Official Name||Arab Republic of Egypt|
|Location||Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Libya and the Gaza Strip, and the Red Sea north of Sudan, and includes the Asian Sinai Peninsula|
|Area||total: 1,001,450 sq km land: 995,450 sq km water: 6,000 sq km|
|Climate||desert; hot, dry summers with moderate winters|
|Terrain||vast desert plateau interrupted by Nile valley and delta|
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 Agreement covers trade in industrial products, including fish and other marine products, and processed agricultural products. In addition, individual EFTA States and Egypt concluded bilateral agreements on basic agricultural products, which form part of the instruments creating the free trade area. The main objective of the Agreement is to achieve the liberalisation of trade in goods in conformity with the relevant WTO provisions. By 1 January 2020, customs duties on almost all industrial products will have been eliminated.The Agreement also includes provisions relating to the elimination of other trade barriers as well as trade-related disciplines including rules on competition, state monopolies and subsidies. Moreover, the Agreement contains provisions on the protection of intellectual property, investment, services, current payments and capital movements, government procurement, economic co-operation and institutional and procedural matters. The Agreement establishes a Joint Committee which supervises the application of the Agreement and provides for binding arbitration.
GAFTA is supervised and run by the Arab Economic Council in the Arab League. GAFTA has a high income, population, and area and has significant resources available. The Greater Arab Free Trade Area was a project adopted in 1997, when 17 Arab League members agreed on decreasing the customs on local production and to make an Arab Free Zone for exports and imports between members.
ACTIF is a trade body that aims to promote specific concerns of the industry and promote improved competitiveness in both regional and global market place. Membership emphasis on private sector “ownership” with strong allegiance of nationally based trade institutions. ACTIF comprises of an Executive and four action committees: 1) Global Trade Initiatives, 2)Investment and Finance, 3)Inter-Regional Trade and Supply Chain, 4)Production, Ginning and Lint Trade
Formed with the idea in mind to accelerate the process of integrating the continent to enable it to play its role in the global economy, while addressing multifacted social, economic and political problems that are compounded by negative aspects of globalization.
The purpose of COMESA is to create high standards of living for all its people ready to merge into an African Economic Community.
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.
COFTA is composed of 70 member organizations from 30 Africa countries. It is a grass root organization that aims toward Fair Trade. Aims to provide a forum for collaboration and networking amongst AFTO and develop the fair trade movement and the economic empowerment of the disadvantaged African producers.