COMESA and the tripartite free trade area: Towards an African economic community?

Kipyego Cheluget, Stephen Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Economic integration has been an espoused goal of the African continent for several decades, and steady progress has been made through the African Union and the eight regional economic communities (RECs). The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is one of the largest and most diversified RECs on the continent, and played a significant role in the launch of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA). This article assesses the performance of COMESA, and considers the prospects for the TFTA. It also addresses the contribution of COMESA and other RECs to the continent’s economic development and considers the prospects for a potential African Economic Community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-499
Number of pages19
JournalSouth African Journal of International Affairs
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2017


  • Development
  • Regional integration
  • Southern and Eastern Africa
  • TFTA
  • Trade

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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