Some of the regional countries have benefited from the establishment of the Free Trade Area launched by the body in 2000
President Robert Mugabe left the country Tuesday afternoon for the Democratic Republic of Congo to attend the 17th Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Summit, where 19 heads of member states are expected to make decisions on major policy issues.
The body, which is currently chaired by Uganda President Yoweri Museveni, was formed in 1994 to enable the region to fully utilize its large market size.
President Mugabe is accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Samuel Mumbengengwi and Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha.
For perspective on the importance of COMESA, reporter Sithandekile Mhlanga turned to independent political analyst George Mkhwanazi.
Mkhwananzi said some of the regional countries have benefited from the establishment of the Free Trade Area, launched by the body in 2000, although the founding principles of trading among member states have largely not been followed.