The Tripartite Free Trade Area and its Implications for COMESA, the EAC and SADC

The establishment of a Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) which would combine the members of three existing regional economic communities, i.e. the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), was decided at the 2008 Tripartite Summit. The purpose of the TFTA will be to harmonise trade arrangements among SADC, COMESA and EAC, improve the movement of persons within the region, facilitate the joint implementation of infrastructure projects and enhance co-operation of members.

Fostering the Development of PPP Models in the COMESA Region

The project "Fostering the Development of PPP Models in the COMESA Region" helped COMESA Members improve infrastructure service provision though the increased and more systematic use of public private partnership (PPP) arrangements. The project’s four key objectives were to:

  • Capture and synthesize critical elements of an overarching policy and vision for effective PPPs in infrastructure sectors;
  • Analyse and lay out critical elements of an enabling legal framework for effective infrastructure PPPs;
  • Analyse critical elements of an effective, coordinating institutional framework for PPPs in infrastructure sectors; and
  • Analyse where a regional approach to PPPs can be helpful, and how COMESA members should pursue such a regional agenda.

Good practices for PPIs in COMESA

This study, published as part of BizClim's Best Practices series, provides an overview of relevant good practice for a legal and institutional enabling environment for PPPs in infrastructure sectors in COMESA. It also begins to consider how a regional approach can contribute to the growth of infrastructure PPPs (including those of a crossborder nature), as well as the sharing of knowledge across Member Countries, and the building of capacity within them. The adoption at a regional level of common principles for the development of PPP projects and similar mechanisms for their implementation could also contribute to the emergence of domestic private investors in the COMESA region.

Preparedness of the Ethiopian Private Sector to Benefit from WTO Accession

Arguably, the accession of Ethiopia to the World Trade Orgainsation (WTO) will have an important impact on the country's private sector. In spite of this, the private sector's role in accession negotiations has to date been very limited. Although the private sector is represented in Ethiopia's WTO Technical Committee, so far no strategy has been prepared by the private sector in order to ensure that WTO accession works to its benefit. With an estimated three to four years left until accession, the definition and implementation of such a strategy now is an urgent task, as measures will take time to yield results.

Determinants of Ethiopia's Export Performance: A Gravity Model Analysis

The purpose of this paper is to identify and empirically analyze determinants of export performance of Ethiopia. It begins with a novel decomposition of the growth in countries’ exports into the contribution from internal supply-side and external market access conditions. Building on the results of this decomposition, it moves on to an econometric analysis of the determinants of export performance. A gravity model is employed with panel data using 30 Ethiopia’s trading partners for the period 1995–2007. The model is estimated with the Generalized Two Stages Least Squares (G2SLS) method. Endogeneity of FDI and GDP to exports, heteroskedasticity and serial correlation for AR (1) are controlled.

Ethiopia's Accession to the WTO and the Financial Services Sector

Negotiations on trade in financial services will be one of the key issues of Ethiopia's WTO accession process. This is due to both the importance of financial services for the economy at large and the nature of trade in services. Regarding the former, financial services, which include banking, insurance, securities and related services, play an important role for national development by steering the flow of resources within the economy. Conversely, the banking industry can also be a source of fragility, especially in countries where domestic economic activity is concentrated in particular industries or commodities, making it difficult to diversify risk and absorb shocks to the financial system.