The 43rd COMESA Council of Ministers Meeting Opens in Zambia

The 43rd COMESA Council of Ministers meeting opened today in Lusaka with a call for the region to prioritize key areas that contribute to economic growth including trade and transit facilitation.

Zambia Vice President, Her Honour Madam Mutale Nalumango who opened the meeting said the region also needs to implement interventions that promote the establishment of a regionally integrated, diversified and competitive production capacity anchored on agriculture, industry and the services sector.

“Prioritization should be based on value addition, diversification, innovation and common regional standards, all with due considerations to the protection of the environment,” she said.

The meeting was attended by Ministers responsible for coordination of COMESA activities at the national level in the 21 Member States.

Key issues on the agenda were a report from the Intergovernmental Committee covering progress reports on the implementation of COMESA programmes. The Committee is comprised of Permanent and Principal Secretaries whose meeting was conducted early this week.

The Vice President said efforts should be implemented within the context of inclusiveness, participation and sustainability to ensure that all sections of the society including women, youth and the vulnerable are supported to have access and control over resources that have a clearly visible impact on human development.

She commended the development partners who have over the years supported COMESA’s regional integration agenda while calling for mutual accountability, sustainability and ultimately self-reliance.

In her statement to the Ministers, Secretary General Chileshe Kapwepwe gave a detailed update on regional integration activities implemented by the organisation. Among these is the development of mitigatory measures against the COVID-19, adoption of tripartite guidelines on trade and transport facilitation for the movement of persons, goods and services which have contributed to the flow of trade.

She added that so far, the COMESA yellow card scheme has expanded its reach to Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana and South Sudan while the digital platform for women in business (50MAWSP) has so far attracted 350, 000 users and the youth engagement in democratic governance and socio-economic processes.

“We have made significant strides on several priority areas which can serve as a springboard to propel us to greater heights. We remain focused on our mandate and resolute towards the achievement of our objectives,” she said.

The meeting was chaired by Hon. Ahmed Samir, Minister of Trade and Industry of Egypt, who is the current chair of the COMESA Council of Ministers.

Statement by Vice President

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *