Integration of the three major economic blocs in South and East Africa will improve development in the region.
This is the firm belief of Minister for East African Community (EAC), Monique Mukaruliza.
She made the remark Tuesday after attending the tripartite ministerial meeting of COMESA, EAC, and SADC in Lusaka, Zambia.
The participants agreed to integrate market, infrastructure and industrial development.
“It will be a great opportunity for member states if the three blocs integrate. It will stimulate the economic growth in member states since business people will be allowed to conduct their trade in the three groupings,” she said.
The meeting discussed ways of establishing a single market by setting up a major Free Trade Area combining the three economic blocs.
Mukaruliza noted that for Rwanda to benefit, business operators must possess adequate and qualitative products that compete favourably in the region.
“Rwandans have to be innovative, creative and pro-active and learn practices from other partners to elevate their economic status.”
Other areas where the tripartite organs agreed to harmonise programmes, include infrastructure for energy, transport sector such as roads, railways, airports, ports, telecommunication and ICT.
The Tripartite Free Trade Areas (FTA) brings together half of the continent – 26 countries with a combined Gross Domestic Product of US$624 billion and a conservative estimate of 560 million consumers.