Multi-membership in African regional trade agreements : a focus on SADC and COMESA
Taole, Teele Elias
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There are many Regional Trade agreements in Africa. These include Customs Union, Preferential Trade Agreements, Free Trade Area and the Common Market. African RTAs offer many different benefits to countries. They are also flexible in the sense that they offer open-door membership to any country willing to join them. Countries end up joining many of these RTAs at the same time, leading to a problem of multi-membership or overlapping membership, a phenomenon described by authors as a "spaghetti bowl". This mini-dissertation focuses on the issue of multi-membership in African RTAs, especially the two prominent RTAs namely South African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) to determine the problem brought about by overlapping membership. The attention is drawn on the Laws/Rules of these RTAs to see if a country having multi-membership is able to use its domestic laws to regulate its imports and exports. There is also a case study of Lesotho and South Africa.
- Law