SADC Summit has ended in Zimbabwe calling for a Free Trade Area


The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit has ended in Zimbabwe with a call to speedily complete negotiations for a wider Free Trade Area (FTA) in southern and eastern Africa.

The proposed FTA would consolidate existing trade blocs into an enlarged market covering 26 countries. Negotiations began five years ago. 

Once operational, it’s expected to boost regional integration through improved investment flows and enhanced competition.  

On Monday, South Africa was officially appointed to chair the SADC Troika on Defence, Politics and Security. Lesotho Foreign Affairs Minister Mohlabi Tsekoa says it was a unanimous decision by the 15-nation bloc.

Lesotho was scheduled to take over the leadership of the security organ from Namibia. However, because of Lesotho’s internal political upheavals, SADC has handed the post to South Africa.