Africa’s largest trade bloc on Wednesday added Somalia and Tunisia as members.
The announcement came at the official opening the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) summit in Lusaka, Zambia.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by heads of state from member countries of COMESA.
Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui ratified the accession treaty of Tunisia to the trade bloc which serves over 625 million people from 20 African countries.
The two countries will now benefit from the triangular free trade zone which includes the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the East African Community (EAC).
Members states at the summit also chose a new secretary general for COMESA.
Chileshe Kapwepwe from Zambia became the first woman to head the trade bloc. She was preceded by Sindiso Ngwenya, a Zimbabwean economist.