|Official Name||Republic of the Sudan|
|Location||Northern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Egypt and Eritrea|
|Area||total: 2,505,810 sq km land: 2.376 million sq km water: 129,810 sq km|
|Climate||tropical in south; arid desert in north; rainy season varies by region (April to November)|
|Terrain||generally flat, featureless plain; mountains in far south, northeast and west; desert dominates the north|
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 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.
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.
IGAD was formed after severe drought and the purpose of the organization was the development and drought control of the regions. Now IGAD is now also a forum for regional security and political dialogue.