A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

A vast common market for Eastern and Southern Africa ?

4 July 2011



“Divided we are weak; united, Africa could become one of the greatest forces for good in the world.” Fifty years after the words of Nkrumah––Ghana’s Former President and the influential advocate of Pan-Africanism––the dream of seeing the emergence of the “United States of Africa” is not totally laid to rest.

In fact, on June 12 in Johannesburg, the leaders of 26 Southern and Eastern African nations launched negotiations to form a vast free trade area gathering the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern Development African Community (SDAC). This immense common market of approximately 24 million square kilometers––or 9.3 million square miles––would cover the whole eastern half of the continent, from Cape Town to Cairo through Angola and Ethiopia.

The hurdles on the path to this dream are nevertheless sizeable, since trade barriers, difficult border crossings, inadequate infrastructures and weak supply chains define the region. Yet, it is a major challenge in the face of “the collective responsibility we shoulder toward Africa’s founding fathers to form a single continental market with high economic value,” stated South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma at the opening ceremony.

A historic responsibility of course, but an economic necessity as well. According to the World Bank, trade between African nations accounts for barely 10 percent of total trade in the Continent, against 60 percent in Europe and 40 percent in North America. The emergence of a vast free trade area in Southern Africa––prelude to a wide continental common market––would thus be a first step toward a better insertion of Africa in international trade.

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Paris, 24 April 2019