|Official Name||Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya|
|Location||Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Tunisia|
|Area||total: 1,759,540 sq km land: 1,759,540 sq km water: 0 sq km|
|Climate||Mediterranean along coast; dry, extreme desert interior|
|Terrain||mostly barren, flat to undulating plains, plateaus, depressions|
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.
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.
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.
AMU is a pillar of the AEC. It is a Pan-Arab trade that aims for economic and political unity in North Africa.
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.