Cape-to-Cairo FTZ in the works
South Africa's trade minister suggested last week that a plan to establish a massive, continent-spanning free trade zone could be tabled at some point in 2011.
The long-mooted Cape-to-Cairo FTZ could involve as many as 26 African nations, with the idea of stimulating intra-African trade among a host of nations with large resource bases and young populations.
The FTZ would line the continent's East Coast and would incorporate members of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) and the East African Community (EAC). South Africa Minister for Trade and Industry Rob Davies was quoted by international media outlets as saying the idea could be proposed at the Southern Africa Development Community conference in mid-2011.
The idea has long been mooted, with initial plans linking 12 nations between Egypt and South Africa along the continent's east coast.