The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa

21 African States, 586 Million People, Largest Market for Trade & Investment

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Latest News

Trade Facilitation Programme Records Notable Progress

COMESA Member States, through the European Union-backed Trade Facilitation Programme have revised and adopted regulations for the elimination of non-tariff barriers (NTBs), a move which is expected to enhance intra-regional[…]

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AU- COMESA Election Observer Mission to Kenya Issues Preliminary Statement

Nairobi, August 11, 2022: The Joint African Union – COMESA Election Observers’ Mission to the General Election in Kenya have today issued a preliminary statement on its assessment of the[…]

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Regional Horticultural Observatory Programme Developed

The Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA) has developed the COMESA Horticultural Observatory Programme which will be used to engage multi-stakeholders in the horticultural industry on[…]

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Small-Scale Cross-Border Trade Initiative Extended by 31 Months

The European Union (EU) has granted a no-cost extension to the Small-Scale Cross Border Trade Initiative (SSCBTI) programme by 31 Months. The Project will now end in December 2024 from[…]

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Overview of COMESA

The history of COMESA began in December 1994 when it was formed to replace the Preferential Trade Area (PTA) which had existed from the earlier days of 1981. COMESA (as defined by its Treaty) was established…



An integral component of the COMESA success narrative has been its institutions. These are needs-based and respond to very specific niches in the region. In addition to providing expertise in specific areas, the institutions are involved in skills development and extensive market research that allows them to link evidence to their decision-making processes. To support the integration program, COMESA has established financial institutions to provide not just the much needed credit (the Trade and Development Bank), but also to provide insurance for non-commercial risks (the African Trade Insurance Agency), re-insurance (ZEP-Re (PTA) Reinsurance Company) and to facilitate international payments (the Regional Payment and Settlement System), and to underpin competition in the region (the COMESA Competition Commission).


Our Programmes

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) comprises 21 African Member States that came together with the aim of promoting regional integration through trade and the development of natural and human resources for the mutual benefit of all people in the region.

Infrastructure Development

COMESA has recognized infrastructure development as a priority and strategic focus area that requires…

Agriculture, Industry & Private Sector Development

The Mandate of the Industry and Agriculture Division is to promote development of….

Trade & Customs Services

The main function of the division is to implement programmes to enhance cooperation in Trade…

Gender & Social Affairs

The Gender and Social Affairs Division in the COMESA Secretariat exists to promote and provide leadership…..

COMESA @25 – The Journey of Integration

COMESA, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, was established on 8 December 1994 as the successor to the Preferential Trade Area (PTA). This video brings the story of how it all began, the milestones in COMESA’s 25 years journey of integration, captured through the voices of a cross section of stakeholders

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This post is also available in: العربية (Arabic) Français (French)