REC support

Regional Economic Communities (RECs) consist of groups of countries with a shared geographical location that have agreed to some form of economic cooperation.  As such, they pursue economic integration, and attempt to eliminate barriers to trade among member states of the RECs.

The COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite is an umbrella organisation consisting of three of Africa's RECs, namely the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the Southern Africa Development Community and the East Africa Community.  It was established in 2005 in an effort to deepen regional economic integration and achieve sustainable economic growth and development.  The Second Tripartite Summit, held on 12 June 2011, launched negotiations for the establishment of a  Free Trade Area (FTA) consisting of the 26 countries of COMESA, EAC and SADC. 

TMSA is supporting this regional integration process by providing administrative, financial and technical support to the Tripartite Institution as well as its constituent Regional Economic Communities, namely COMESA, EAC and SADC. 

Specifically, TMSA is supporting COMESA to restructure its secretariat in the light of developments such as the formation of the Tripartite.  TMSA is also assisting SADC in the development of its Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan (RIDMP).   The Infrastructure Master Plans for COMESA and EAC are in their final stages, and the RIDMP will provide a third key input into the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Inter-regional Infrastructure Master Plan.  TMSA also continues to provide long term, technical support to COMESA and SADC.

Projects

COMESA Secretariat Restructuring

The COMESA Secretariat was last restructured about 10 years ago and since then much has changed in terms of the mandate of the Secretariat, the formation of the Tripartite, the creation of COMESA Specialised Institutions and the needs of the member States in terms of deepening integration. The COMESA Secretariat restructuring will allow it to meet he needs of its Member States now and into the future.

TMSA is participating in the restructuring exercise and is also managing consultants to prepare scopes of work and terms of reference.

SADC Infrastructure Master Plan Development

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) secretariat, supported by TradeMark Southern Africa (TMSA) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), has started work on a Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan (RIDMP). The plan is expected to deal with an estimated $100-billion deficit in the region's road, rail, ports, power, communication and water infrastructure.

The Infrastructure Master Plans for COMESA and EAC are in their final stages, and the RIDMP is eagerly awaited as a key input into the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Inter-regional Infrastructure Master Plan, as well as the Continental Infrastructure Framework of the Programme for Infrastructure Development of Africa (PIDA).

The RIDMP will ensure that regional Infrastructure development takes place in a systematic manner, and that projects are prioritized towards the achievement of regional integration.

Outcomes of the process include development of Plans of Action, which will provide guidance on the commitments of Member States, the anticipated costs as well as possible funding sources and time frames for implementation. The study will also produce a database and detailed programme on short-term priority infrastructure projects and is expected to advise on issues of institutional arrangements for the effective implementation of the RIDMP.

The key benefits of this project include the following:

  • Regional Infrastructure will be implemented in a systematic manner as guided by the Strategic Framework.
  • Project selection and prioritization will be carried out in a structured manner, focused towards the achievement of regional integration. 
  • The agreed Plans of Action, which will be an output of the RIDMP study, will contain guidelines for effective planning and execution, including a strategy on implementing member states' commitments, anticipated costs, possible funding sources and time-frames for implementation.
  • This study will also produce a database and a detailed programme on the short-term priority infrastructure projects and shall carryout and economic analysis and review on the anticipated impacts.
  • The study is also expected to advice on institutional arrangements for effective implementation of the regional infrastructure programme.

Specific Support to Regional Economic Communities

Early Closure of TMSA Programme: The Secretary of State of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has decided to terminate its financial contribution to TradeMark Southern Africa (TMSA), as announced on 4 December 2013. As DFID is the sole financier of the TMSA programme of support to the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite, TMSA will officially be closed from 17 March 2014 instead of 31 October 2014. For more information about the TMSA closure, and for a summary of some of the more notable successes of the Tripartite achieved with TMSA support, please click here