Member states of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa opened their 13th summit this week in the Zimbabwean resort town of Victoria Falls aiming to conclude a long-delayed agreement on a customs union.
Some 19 heads of state are expected to attend the summit on the theme of "Consolidating Regional Integration through Value Addition, Trade and Food Security."
The Comesa summit runs through June 9.
Establishment of a customs union would help countries in the far-flung region harmonize tariffs to favor regional integration in line with the organization's mission.
The summit has drawn more than 1,000 delegates from the Comesa countries, the Southern African Development Community, the African Union, the Commonwealth, the United Nations, the European Union, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Dennis Nikisi, director of the Graduate School of Management at the University of Zimbabwe told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the host country's economy isn’t likely to benefit near-term from reduced barriers to trade.