ATPC Work in Progress No. 86
Implementation of the SADC Free Trade Agreement (FTA) began in 2000, and was launched in August 2008 fulfilling one of the objectives set under the Protocol on Trade signed in 1996. The FTA is a step along the path towards deeper regional economic integration – which is central to the strategy and objectives of SADC. The FTA is being implemented in a region highly decimated by the HIV and AIDS epidemic. HIV prevalence rates amongst adults in SADC is 11.4% but varies significantly from country to country, ranging from 26.1% in Swaziland (the highest in the world) to 2.1% in Angola.
It is against this background that SADC commissioned a study to assess the impact of the SADC FTA on the spread of HIV infection and vice versa in the region and to carry out an institutional capacity assessment on how well positioned the Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment directorate is to provide guidance on mainstreaming HIV and AIDS to this very important cluster.