Project Description

Title: Mid-Term Evaluation of the Regional Integration Support Mechanism (RISM)

Project Location: COMESA

The RISM Contribution Agreement’s (CA) overall objective was to support the economic integration process of the ESA-IO region through the consolidation of the COMESA FTA and the implementation of COMESA and EAC Customs Unions. The RISM also aimed to assist in the fiscal adjustment process of those ESA countries who liberalise their tariffs vis-à-vis other member countries joining the COMESA or EAC free trade area, adopt – or move towards adopting – the Common External Tariff of a regional Customs Union and were prepared to make commitments to eliminate an agreed list of non-tariff barriers over the course of a defined period.

The expected incremental effects of the RISM were to dismantle internal tariff barriers among COMESA and EAC member states; to apply Common External Tariffs and eliminate non-tariff barriers to significantly increase trade within the region; to implement more efficient recourse allocation in member States and to strengthen the capacity of ESA-IO countries to implement Economic Partnership Agreements as a region.

The consultants assessed the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact, sustainability and coherence of the programme during the Mid-Term Evaluation. They provided the COMESA, the EC and other stakeholders with an independent assessment, key lessons and practical recommendations on the way forward in the remaining period of the programme and for the follow-up phase.