COMESA News Volume 11

COMESA News Volume 11

COMESA-EAC-SADC leaders launch negotiations for the establishment of the Tripartite Free Trade Area the Free Trade Area and the Tripartite FTA Negotia...

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COMESA-EAC-SADC leaders launch negotiations for the establishment of the Tripartite Free Trade Area the Free Trade Area and the Tripartite FTA Negotiating Principles, Processes and Institutional Framework. They further directed that a roadmap be developed for the industrialisation pillar.

from left to right: COMESA Chairman, King Mswati III, Host to the Summit, President Jacob Zuma, and SADC Chairman President Hifikepunye Pohamba,

Heads of State and Government of Member Countries of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the East African Community (EAC), on Sunday 12 June 2011 signed a historical declaration launching negotiations for the establishment of the COMESA-SADC-EAC Tripartite Free Trade Area. This milestone event took place at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg South Africa at the Second COMESA-EACSADC Tripartite Summit that was held under the theme of “Deepening COMESAEAC-SADC Integration”. After the signing ceremony, the leaders issued a joint communiqué where they stated that they have launched negotiations for the establishment of an integrated market of 26 countries with a combined population of nearly 600 million people and a total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) approaching US dollars 1.0 trillion. They noted that the region makes up half of the African Union (AU) in terms of membership and just over 58% in terms of contribution to the GDP and 57% of the total population of the African Union. In this regard, the leaders attending the Summit said the establishment of the

Tripartite Free Trade Area will bolster intra-regional trade by creating a wider market, increase investment flows, enhance competitiveness and develop cross-regional infrastructure. The leaders adopted a developmental approach to the Tripartite Integration process that will be anchored on three pillars namely: Market Integration based on the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA); Infrastructure Development to enhance connectivity and reduce costs of doing business as well as Industrial Development to address the productive capacity constraints. The leaders agreed that the Tripartite Initiative is a decisive step to achieve the African Vision of establishing the African Economic Community envisioned in the Lagos Plan of Action and Final Act of Lagos of 1980, Abuja Treaty of 1991 as well as the resolution of the African Union Summit held in Banjul, the Gambia, in 2006 that directed the African Union Commission and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to harmonize and coordinate policies and programmes as important strategies for rationalisation. As part of their resolve to achieve this “Grand Free Trade Area” , the leaders also adopted the Roadmap Establishing

Speaking on behalf of the COMESA-EACSADC Tripartite Task force, made of the Secretariats of the three Regional Economic Communities (RECs) ; at the opening session; the COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya, who is the taskforce Chairman , provided progress made in the implementation of the Decisions of the First Tripartite Summit. The Tripartite Summit thereafter reviewed the progress made in the implementation of the decisions of the First Tripartite Summit held in Kampala, Uganda on 22 October 2008, regarding programmes in trade and customs and economic integration; free movement of business persons and infrastructure development amongst the three Regional Economic Communities. In the area of Infrastructure development, the leaders acknowledged the progress made so far and commended the international cooperating partners and donor communities for the support that was pledged to the North South Corridor at the High Level Conference held in Lusaka, Zambia in April 2009.

President Pierre Nkurunziza, Chairman EAC

COMESA News Volume 11

1

Vatican appoints Special Representative to COMESA

T

Vatican Ambassador Presenting Credentials to COMESA Secretary General

he Vatican has appointed a Special Representative to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). Ambassador Nicolas Girasoli, who also serves as Vatican Ambassador to Zambia presented his Letter of Credence to COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya in Lusaka on 3rd June 2011. “The decision of the Holy See-Vatican to accredit its first Special Representative to this organization is an expression of appreciation of the important role of COMESA in Africa of strengthening peace and development for African people. The Holy See-Vatican wishes also to contribute to the common good and to the full development of Africa, according to its doctrine on the natural moral order,” Ambassador Girasoli said in his statement. Recalling the creative expression of the late Pope Paul VI, Ambassador Girasoli revealed that the new name for peace is development (Populorum Progession N.48), adding that it is important to underline that peace and development are strictly connected and can be achieved

2

COMESA News Volume 11

only if people and governments work in solidarity. “We all are called to form one family in which all individuals, peoples and nations model their behavior according to the principles of fraternity and responsibility. There is need of a global solidarity between rich and poor countries, in order to avoid marginalization. Wealth creation in poor countries therefore becomes an inescapable duty,” He pointed out that COMESA with its many initiatives and programmes contributes decisively to free movement of goods and peoples in the Continent, creating a global space for improving the living standard of people and reducing poverty. The Holy See-Vatican prioritises education and family support. Good quality education to all children of Africa, providing them good schools and favourable conditions of teaching and learning is essential for the future of this continent, he said after presenting a letter from the Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Minister of Foreign

Affairs of the Vatican. And in welcoming Ambassador Girasoli, Mr Ngwenya said COMESA and the Catholic Church have complementary goals which center on human welfare, promoting peace, security and stability. “The Catholic Church and COMESA have the same goals of uplifting the living standards of people and fostering closer relations among member States, promoting long term peace, security and stability, eradicating injustice, poverty and diseases like HIV/AIDS,” Ngwenya said. He revealed that with over a billion members, the Catholic Church has historically played a central role in enhancing sustainable development and uplifting the living standards of people in Africa. It has provided schools and universities, hospitals and community welfare institutions like the Catholic Church universities in Madagascar, Eritrea, Kenya, DR Congo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

COMESAEAC-SADC leaders launch negotiations for the establishment of the Tripartite Free Trade Area

COMESA Chairs InterRegional Coordinating Committee

They further invited the cooperating partners and the donor community to support the Aid for Trade Programmes being developed for other major corridors and in particular the Tripartite and InterGovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) infrastructure Investment Conference to be held in Nairobi, Kenya on 29- 30 September this year at which priority projects for these corridors; as well as the maritime corridors will be presented. The Summit expressed its appreciation to the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Task Force for the preparatory work undertaken in preparation for the 2nd Tripartite Summit. King Mswati III of the kingdom of Swaziland, President Pierre Nkurunziza of the Republic of Burundi and President Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of the Republic of Namibia, the chairpersons of COMESA,EAC and SADC Heads of States and Governments respectively; addressed the Tripartite Summit reiterating the commitment of the three RECs to the Tripartite cooperation and integration process. In his closing remarks, the host President Jacob Zuma of South Africa congratulated all his colleagues for the historic Tripartite Summit that launched the Tripartite Free Trade Area negotiations which he said is a key milestone in the integration of Africa. The Tripartite Summit adopted Communiqué which was read by Ambassador Dr. Richard Sezibera, Secretary General of the East Africa Community.

T

Callixte d’Offay congratulates Sindiso Ngwenya on assuming the chair

he

Common

Market

for

ceremony.

Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

has

Handing over the chair, IOC Secretary

taken over the Chairmanship of

General Ambassador Callixte d’Offay

the

Coordinating

gave an account of the achievement

Committee (IRCC). This means that

during his tenure in office adding

COMESA Secretary General Sindiso

that the one year chairmanship was

Ngwenya is the new Chairperson

a heavy task but exciting. He thanked

of IRCC for a period of one year. He

the chief executives of the partner

takes over from the Indian Ocean

organizations for the support given to

Community (IOC).

him within the year, adding that he

Inter

Secretariat

Regional

was gladly handing over “the torch” The handover of power took place

to the new chair.

on Saturday 14 May 2011 in Lusaka, Zambia.

Several

Ambassadors,

Accepting the chair Secretary General

diplomats and representatives of

Ngwenya promised to meet the

the

the

challenges “It is a huge legacy but

IOC, the East African Community,

which I fully accept, as new Chair of

the

Authority

the IRCC, to head and advance the

on Development (IGAD) and the

agenda of the IRCC to new heights,”

Southern

Ngwenya said.

European

Commission,

Intergovernmental African

development

Community (SADC) witnessed the COMESA News Volume 11

3

COMESA Chairs Inter-Regional Coordinating Committee

Eastern Africa, and all those countries that depend on ports. Under the 9th EDF regional envelope managed under IRCC, COMESA was allocated Euro 78 million. Out of this amount, Euro 32 million was used to finance the implementation of the regional Integration Support Programme

(RISP)

Contribution

through

Agreement.

a The

programme was jointly implemented by COMESA and EAC including an amount of Euro 8 million to implement the East African Community Customs Union. Whereas under 10th EDF: COMESA, EAC, IGAD and IOC have a total envelope of euro 50 million, with 10 million of it earmarked for the Northsouth corridor. In 2001, COMESA, EAC, IGAD and IOC decided to collaborate and coordinate their efforts, through the

creation

of

Inter-Regional

Coordinating Committee (IRCC) in the Several Ambassadors, diplomats and representatives of the EC, IOC; EAC ; IGAD and SADC witnessed the ceremony

He revealed that during his tenure,

Action Service, Roger Moore said the

there will be a review of the

IRCC is of great importance to the

existing cooperation strategy with

EU as it brings regional institutions

the European Union through the

charting

midterm review of the 10th EDF.

integration in Africa. He applauded

He added that the regional plea is

the IRCC for overcoming challenges

to have a role in the design of the

they faced last year.

the

path

to

regional

programming and implementation of regional programmes and projects under the European Development Fund (EDF). Dr Richard Sezibera Secretary General of EAC, Eng. Joao Caholo Deputy Executive Secretary of SADC, Mr.

new EU Development Policy for the post 10th EDF perspectives and in

He pointed out that one of the

Yufnalis Okubo IGAD legal Counsel

response to the EU Green Paper.

challenges was the issue of piracy,

were also present at the ceremony.

which if remains unchecked will

The

Speaking at the same function,

continue to affects the economies

EAC,IGAD and IOC, whereas SADC is

Director at the European External COMESA News Volume 11 4

of African countries, particularly in

currently an observer.

IRCC

comprises

COMESA,

COMESA-EAC sign implementation agreement framework under the EDF 10

COMESA is the only regional organisation

on

the

African

continent with such arrangements with the EU. The EU assistance comes mainly through

the

EDF

RISP/RIP

allocations. The four

partner

organizations

(COMESA,

EAC,

IGAD and IOC) have put in place an inter Regional Coordinating Committee (IRCC) coordination mechanism through which they left Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya and right Dr Richard Sezibera signing the agreement

T

he COMESA Secretary General

RISP2. The programme is financed

Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya and

through a contribution agreement

the newly appointed Secretary

signed between COMESA and the

General of the East African

European Union (EU) under the

Community Dr Richard Sezibera,

10th EDF.

jointly implement EC funded projects. Taking into account that EAC, IGAD and IOC are not yet eligible for a contribution agreement,

on Saturday 14 May 2011 signed

they cannot enter into a direct

an implementation agreement

Under the 10th EDF COMESA,

under the EDF 10. The event took

EAC, IGAD and IOC have a total

place at a highly attended official

envelope of euro 50 million, with

opening of the Inter Regional

10 million of it earmarked for

Coordination Committee (IRCC)

the North-South corridor. The

enters into the agreement with

meeting, taking place at COMESA

amount is for the period starting

EU on behalf of all the four; which

Secretariat Lusaka Zambia.

from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2013.

makes it easier for them to access

Disbursements will be based on

EDF funding since they don’t have

approved annual work plans.

to go through EU procedures.

The Implementation Agreement

contribution agreement with the European Union. Therefore under the IRCC arrangements, COMESA

These partner organisations agree

signed between COMESA and EAC defines the legal framework

COMESA

contribution

on legal framework on which to

of cooperation between the two

agreement with EU where by

operate to facilitate COMESA’s

parties in the joint implementation

COMESA gets money in advance

accountability for the funds to

of

and uses its procedures to

EAC. IGAD and IOC signed the

(RISP)

implement agreed programmes as

framework in April and early May

continuation, often referred to as

well as for accountability purpose.

2011 respectively.

the

Support

Regional

Integration

Programme

has

a

COMESA News Volume 11

5

Working Group on COMESA Rules of Origin agree on outstanding issues on CTH

FEMCOM calls for partnership

T

he Federation of National Associations of Women in Business in Eastern and Southern Africa (FEMCOM) has said mobilisation of resources is crucial in achieving planned advocacy and avoiding duplication of efforts.

A

SG with working group on CTH

Meeting of the Working Group on Rules of Origin to consider pertinent issues affecting rules of origin including the paper prepared by Mauritius in an effort to finalizing outstanding work on the Change of Tariff Heading (CTH) rule and the detailed rules of origin was held in Lusaka Zambia on 5-6 April 2011, pursuant to the decision of the Council at its 28th meeting held in Mbabane, Swaziland. The meeting that was officially opened by Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya, the Secretary General of COMESA and was well attended by experts from the following Member States: Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, DRC, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In his opening remarks, Mr. Ngwenya welcomed the experts to Lusaka and to the meeting and spelled out the task ahead of them as that of moving decisively and finalizing the bracketed chapters of the CTH to enable the business community consolidate gains of regional integration through flexibility in applying the COMESA Rules of origin. The Secretary General further urged the experts to have a broader view and take into account the current trends in rules of origin in other parts of the world that are now embracing

6

COMESA News Volume 11

simpler and more flexible rules for the benefit of the economies of the integrating members. After two days of deliberations, the experts agreed on all the proposals that were tabled before them and hence Change of Tariff Heading (CTH) rule that touched on four main economic categories of Agriculture and Agro-processing (concerning wheat and Meslin flour (Parts of Chapter 11), edible oils and margarine (Parts of Chapter 15), Sugar (Parts of Chapter 17) and food preparations (Parts of Chapter 20); Plastics;(Parts of Chapter 39) Textiles (Parts of Chapters 51, 52 and 61) and Machinery and Equipment (Parts of Chapters 84 and 85). (There was however a reservation from Mauritius on some few Headings). With this agreement what it means is that the business community now has full flexibility in the application of all the COMESA rules of origin and that exploitation of the CTH rule which is now complete, could encourage investments and value addition in the region. Besides, pursuant to the decision of Council at its 27th meeting held in May 2007 in Nairobi - Kenya, Member States could move to implement all the previously agreed chapters as well as those that were finalised in the 5-6 April meeting.

The Federation said this in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe during the closure of a three day consultative forum on food security and women in business organized by FEMCOM in collaboration with the Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA). FEMCOM Acting Executive Director Mrs. Katherine Ichoya asked ACTESA and FEMCOM to pull their resources together under the overall guidance of COMESA for the advancement for women. She said a single coordinating agency in COMESA would coordinate information dissemination and encourage information sharing. “Information sharing and dissemination in the COMESA region is very crucial to unlock the potential of women in business. For instance identifying markets for products within the region is a sustainable way of boosting food security and women in business,” Ichoya said. COMESA Director of Gender and Social Affairs Mrs. Emiliana Tembo, said gender mainstreaming and climate change initiatives approved by the council of Ministers is important in the region. The Forum attracted participants from Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar and Mauritius among others.

African Development Bank Supports Infrastructure data collection on the continent

meeting of experts in statistics

E

xperts

in

from

African Development Bank Zambia

are the type that bring medium to

within and outside Africa

Country Representative Dr. Freddie

long term development gains, in

met in Lusaka from 6th to

Kwesiga opened the workshop and

addition to significantly contribution

8th April 2011 to review the African

highlighted that contribution from

towards poverty reduction. The areas

Infrastructure Statistics Handbook.

the participants would enrich the

include transports (roads, rail, and

The Handbook has been compiled

Handbook and make it a key reference

water ways), energy (generation

with

as a repository on infrastructure

and transmission), ICT, agriculture

data.

(irrigation,

support

statistics

from

the

Africa

development Bank (AfDB) within the Africa Infrastructure Knowledge

storage

and

value

addition), and social (education/

Programme. Regional organizations

“I wish to reiterate the importance of

such as COMESA, SADC, ECOWAS and

credible and robust statistics in the

AFRISTAT are collaborating with the

overall planning and development

Dr Kwesiga added that huge sums of

AfDB on this project.

process

the

public and private sector resources

infrastructure area. This is mainly

are being invested in infrastructure

The main objective of the workshop

due to the very important role that

making it imperative that donors and

was to review the content and get

infrastructure plays towards poverty

member countries are enabled to

individual and collective contributions

reduction and overall economic

scientifically measure and quantify

on how the Africa Infrastructure

development,” Dr Kwesiga added.

the contribution of infrastructure

Knowledge

Programme

can

but

more

so

in

be

health) infrastructure.

investment towards overall economic

improved in order for it to adequately

Infrastructure Development is one of

development. The World Bank is also

address the needs of data users while

the AfDB’s core strategic pillars in its

involved in this project of improving

at the same time facilitating data

current Medium Term Strategy (2008-

infrastructure data collection in

collection and analysis.

2012). The specific infrastructure

Africa.

interventions that AfDB focuses on COMESA News Volume 11

7

Pest control is critical in attainment of food security, Ngwenya Okoba echoed. He appealed to the secretary General for support. COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya said that his organization appreciates the efforts that the International Red Locus Control Organization for Central and Southern Africa is putting in combating the destruction of crops by the red locusts.

From Left Mr. Mose M. Okoba, Dr Kipyego Cheluget, Secretary General Ngwenya, Sam Kanyarukiga, CAADP Coordinator and C. Miti Climate Change coordinator

C

OMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya has called for speedy control of the notorious red Locusts, which if left uncontrolled would affect the food security in the COMESA region. Mr. Ngwenya said this when International Red Locus Control Organization for Central and Southern Africa director Mr. Mose M. Okoba and Dr Kipyego Cheluget Kenyan High Commissioner to Zambia paid a courtesy call on him on 13th April 2011. Mr. Okoba informed the Secretary General about the effects the red locusts could pose on food security not only in Zambia but the COMESA region at large. He pointed out that the locusts could cause very devastating effects to the crop if left unchecked. He said that it is very important that COMESA takes up the challenge of helping the International Red Locus 8

COMESA News Volume 11

Control Organization for Central and Southern Africa get rid of the red locusts in the region. Mr. Okoba, said that Zambia is one of the breeding sites of the red Locusts because most of breeding sites for the Red Locust are in the water catchment areas of Eastern and Southern Africa. “When locust swarms escape these areas, they can invade areas far and wide in a short possible time. Since each swarm has a very high population of up to 40 million insects”, Mr. Okoba said. He further said that the Red Locusts have the capability to destroy crops since each insect feeds on about 2 grams of food per day. “You can imagine, such a swarm has the capacity to consume up to 80,000 kgs of biomass per day and that is a lot of food that would carter for a good number of families”

“Food security is very important for COMESA and the job you are doing of helping eradicate the locusts which are affecting regional food security is very commendable, “Ngwenya said. The Secretary General added that COMESA and the International Red Locus Control Organization for Central, East and Southern Africa should work together in promoting research, monitoring and control of migratory pest; as they have potential of increasing the food insecurity situation in the region. “I am actually directing the division responsible for food security at the Secretariat to work with you so that we can start implementation as soon as possible”, Ngwenya added. He also said that the Unit responsible for Climate Change should also get involved and see how they can work with the International Red Locus Control Organization for East, Central and Southern Africa in understanding the breeding patterns of the red locusts and how they will affect the food security in the region.

DRC to invest in key areas of the agriculture sector under the CAADP Agenda

T

he Vice Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Bulupyi Galati, officiated at the DRC CAADP National Roundtable and Compact Signature Ceremony held at the Grande Hotel in the capital, Kinshasa, on 17th March 2011. The signature of the CAADP Compact Document was witnessed by key stakeholders in the agriculture sector, including high ranking Government Officials, representatives from COMESA, the African Union Commission and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency as well as development partners, private sector, civil society, researchers and academics, farmers and women in agriculture associations. The endorsement of the CAADP Compact signifies commitment by all key stakeholders in the sector to plan for, and channel their investment in collectively and carefully selected areas of agriculture, in order to attain marked economic growth and poverty reduction for the DRC. Speaking during the Opening Ceremony, Mr. Bulupyi Galati, welcomed all participants to this landmark event and thanked COMESA and other partners for supporting the CAADP process in his country. He said, his Government embraced the ambitious CAADP agenda whole heartedly, and viewed the signature of the DRC Compact as a significant step in the country’s development process. He pointed out the evident potential that rests in CAADP, particularly in terms of building public-private partnerships (PPPs) for agriculture and rural development. He was encouraged to note that the CAADP framework promotes participation of all key stakeholders,

Photo: Assistant Secretary General Stephen Karangizi signing the compact

Assistant Secretary General Stephen Karangizi signing the compact

with the aim of guaranteeing better and sustainable implementation of agriculture programmes. This initiative is expected to contribute to economic growth, job creation and enhanced food security. Mr. Galati stressed importantly that, while the DRC hosts approximately 70 million inhabitants, Africa needed to essentially take advantage of, and develop, the enormous prospective that lies in his country’s agriculture sector. This would in turn benefit an even greater continental population of at least two billion people. Speaking during the same ceremony, Mr. Stephen Karangizi, Assistant Secretary General (Programmes) for COMESA, congratulated the Government for recently finalising arrangements that enabled DRC to join the PTA Bank and for achieving the first key benchmark in the CAADP process. He was extremely pleased with the high level of political

will that the DRC attached to the CAADP process, which is revealed by the presence of the Vice Prime Minster, both at the launch event held in June 2010 and the Roundtable and Compact Signature of 17th March 2011. Mr. Karangizi appealed to stakeholders to realize that DRC comparatively sits on a very large area of arable land in the continent, with potential to enhance agriculture development. It is therefore important for the DRC to embrace the CAADP framework and to sustain the current increased momentum so far witnessed, in order to finalise the national agriculture investment plan, in the shortest possible time. He affirmed COMESA’s continued assistance to the DRC process through mobilization of technical and financial support and pledged to enable the engagement of consultants to backstop the task of the COMESA News Volume 11

9

Trade Information Desks launched at Bunagana Uganda DR Congo borders The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on 31st March 2011 launched Two Trade Information Desks (TIDs) at the border of Bunagana, Southern Uganda, and Eastern DR Congo The Launch was attended by high profile officials from respective central governments, both from Kampala, Uganda including High Commissioner Richard Kabonero the Uganda High Commission to Rwanda. Bunagana also serves as a trade route to small scale traders to and from Uganda and Nothern Rwanda In addition local authorities from both countries were in attendance. Amongst them were the high officials of Kisoro district and the representative of the Governor of North Kivu province. The Director of Legal and Institutional Affairs Brian Chigawa represented the COMESA Secretary General. COMESA is using the launch to reiterate the importance of the Bunagana border for trade not only between the two countries but also in the region. The main objective of the Trade Information Desks is to facilitate and support small scale traders with information meant to get solutions to their day to day problems that they may be facing at the border. COMESA has recognised that the smallscale cross-border traders are very important to trade in the region. Though the small traders move small quantities, over time, because the small traders are so many, they move huge volumes of trade a day. Speaking during the launch of the facilities at the Ugandan side, COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya through his representative Mr. Brian Chigawa, said that COMESA is determined to reach all areas of the region and to

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COMESA News Volume 11

launch of Bunagana ITD

make a significant difference to the people through the installation of Trade Information Desks. “As COMESA, our wish is not to end at the installation of the TIDs, but together with the people of the area, working with the two TID Managers of both sides, we wish to continue making improvements in the form of capacity building and thus enhanced facilitation of trade for the small-scale traders at this border”, Ngwenya said. Mr. Ngwenya said that Trade Information Desks are a very cardinal tool for bringing the informal trade into the ambit of formal trade. ”The informal trade carried out by the small cross border traders is an important and recognised trade in COMESA”, he further said. He stressed the importance of trade as being a catalyst for building peace in the region on whose populations are extremely interdependent. And speaking at the same function the representative of the Democratic Republic of Congo Mr. Pascal Musungu who is also the director at the ministry of international and regional co-orpeartion said he is happy to see COMESA open an information desk at another boarder post in Congo especially in Bunagana as it has been conflict prone in the past.

“This very border has had to be closed for some time because of the intense insecurities caused by rebels and we therefore appreciate COMESA’s efforts” He said. Mr. Musungu added that no country can develop without peace because peace is a prerequisite for positive growth for all sorts of things: economical, developmental and even spiritual (personal growth). Meanwhile Uganda representative Steve Kamukama who is a senior commercial officer at Ministry of Trade, Tourism, Commerce and Industry said that the TID will help curb fears and bring better understanding of trade among small scale cross- border trade between the two nations. “I wish to specifically address the small cross border traders regarding taxes – please go to the TID”, Mr Kamukama said. Information desks on both sides of the border supply the small traders with information required to conduct proper and efficient trade. Additionally, COMESA is assisting the traders to form cross-border associations, so that there are better organised.

ZEP-RE signs Host Agreement with Zambian Government

DRC to invest in key areas of the agriculture sector under the CAADP Agenda of programmes.

Signing ceremony of ZEP-Re Host agreement

The COMESA Re-insurance company popularly known as ZEP-RE last April signed a Host Agreement with the Zambian Government paving the way for the company to start constructing a permanent office in Zambia’s capital Lusaka. The signing ceremony took place on Tuesday 26th April 2011 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lusaka. Zambian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Fashion Phiri, COMESA Acting Secretary General Mr Stephen Karangizi and the President for the PTA Bank (COMESA’s financial arm) Dr Michael Gondwe witnessed the signing ceremony. ZEP-RE was set up in 1992 as part of COMESA’s desire to create a specialized institution that would serve the reinsurance and insurance industry and contribute to the economic development of the region. The company is headquartered in Nairobi Kenya and has now two formally recognized officers in the COMESA region. One in Lusaka, Zambia and the other in Khartoum, Sudan. Chairman of ZEP-RE Dr Michael Gondwe revealed that Lusaka was chosen to host a ZEP-RE office because of its central location in the COMESA region, its

proximity to the COMESA headquarters and in recognition of the support and facilitation the company has consistently received from the Zambian government and insurance sector over the years. “We are proud to report that the Republic of Zambia was among the earliest countries to join the membership of ZEP-RE and that the country currently holds 11.04% stake in ZEP-RE. The shareholders from Zambia include the Ministry of Finance, Zambia State Insurance Corporation General Limited and the ZSIC Pensions Trust Fund,” Dr Gondwe revealed. In 2002, ZEP-RE wrote premiums of USD1million from the Zambian market; this however grew substantially to USD2.6million in 2007 after an office was set up in Lusaka and jumped to USD3.5million the following year. The new ZEP-RE office block is expected to be ready for occupation in the next 18 to 24 months. Zambian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Fashion Phiri urged ZEP-RE to enhance its efforts to foster the full development of the insurance and reinsurance industry in Zambia and the region.

Mrs. Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, Commissioner of Rural Economy and Agriculture for the African Union, stated that CAADP is now globally acknowledged as a mechanism for attaining economic development in Africa, and that the Continent’s development partners are gradually growing in their confidence vis-à-vis, the potential embedded in this African-owned framework and its processes. Development partners have since launched a harmonization process in relation to modalities for collaboratively supporting agriculture development in the continent. Mrs. Tumusiime emphasised the role of regional economic communities (RECs) as being that of coordination and facilitation in their member states, while implementation is a countryled agenda. She also pledged the African Union’s continued support to the CAADP implementation process in the DRC. In collaboration with her partners, the DRC is now preparing to design the national agriculture investment plan with detailed and fully costed programmes, ahead of the Independent Technical Review and High-Level Business Meeting to mobilise resources for the sector. COMESA will work closely with the Government to realize this next benchmark in the CAADP process. COMESA News Volume 11

11

COMESA accredited CSO/PSOs meet to chart a way for peace in the region

I

n the quest to support ongoing

The organisations also agreed to

ten countries. These organisations

efforts in conflict prevention and

develop an electronic newsletter

include civil society, private sector

peace building in the region,

to

and

disseminate by

information the

of

accredited

media-based

organizations.

COMESA accredited civil society and

initiatives

private sector organizations met at

organisations and other civil society

to

Chaminuka, in Lusaka Zambia from

organisations in the region. They saw this as a good tool, not only for

consultations in fifteen countries

5th – 7th April 2011 to come up with strategies to enhance the role of

dissemination but also for sharing

COMESA Civil Society organisations

the best practices. The workshop

within the framework of the COMESA

was a follow-up to recommendations

Programme on Peace and Security.

from the third annual review

The event was in line with the 2001

workshop for accredited civil society

Decision by the COMESA Authority

and private sector organizations

on the need for collaborative and

which was held in Nairobi, Kenya

consultative relationship with a

in December 2010 which came out

wide range of stakeholders that

with recommendations that the

include civil society and private

organisations must work together

sector organizations.

to fight war economies in the region as a coordinated body.

The workshop, which was attended

The Programme has been able conduct

sixteen

national

(two were done in the DRC due to its vast size).

The national

consultations are the pre-requisite to applications for accreditation and the programme is planning to reach out to the remaining four countries, Eritrea, Libya, Mauritius and Sudan. The organisations that have been accredited to COMESA have since their accreditation made some significant contributions to the COMESA programme on peace and security and have trained COMESA elections observers in

twelve

Among the activities that the

accredited civil society and private

group seeks to undertake include

sector

10

capacity building and sensitisation

COMESA Member States, was able to

of communities on the COMESA

develop a joint proposal to enhance

legal instruments and programmes

participation of civil society and

aimed at enhancing peace; and

observers within COMESA elections

private sector in the COMESA peace

management of natural resources

observation missions; assisted in

and security program. Joint resource

which are in some cases being illegally

validation of studies conducted on

mobilization is one of the key areas

exploited to propagate conflicts.

behalf of COMESA Secretariat and

of collaboration as identified in the

The workshop also considered ways

played a role in the development of

rules governing the partnership

of enhancing mutual engagement in

the COMESA Conflict Early Warning

between COMESA and the non-

matters of common interest.

system.

to focus the proposal on addressing

Since the 2001, when a decision

Apart from the body of accredited

the role of war economies in the

was made that COMESA Secretariat

civil society and private sector

propagation of conflicts. This was

should

work with civil society

organisations, COMESA also has

done in recognition of the 2007

and private sector organisations,

in place an Inter-Parliamentary

Summit Decision by the COMESA

COMESA has developed rules and

Forum and a Committee of Elders,

Authority

Peace

procedures for accreditation of

all supporting the secretariat to

and Security niche around the

civil society organisations and has

address matters relating to peace

economic dimensions of conflicts.

accredited twenty of them from

and security.

by

representatives organizations

of

from

Kenya and Zambia; been involved in training of small scale cross border traders on conflict resolution in the Great Lakes Region; served as

state actors. The meeting agreed

12

to

curve

its

COMESA News Volume 11

Gender, Agriculture and Climate COMESA and IUCN explore opportunity Change Experts meet in Lusaka

A

team of experts in gender

economies and while the majority

issues from the COMESA region

of the citizens of COMESA derive

and partner organisations met in

livelihood from agriculture, the

Lusaka from 27th to 29th April 2011

sector’s overall productivity is low.

to come up with a draft regional framework on integrating gender

“The main challenges to enhanced

into agriculture. The meeting was

agricultural

organised by the Gender Division

competitiveness

of the COMESA Secretariat with

are

support from USAID.

technological

development in

market-related

and

COMESA challenges,

obstacles

for collaboration

C

ommon Eastern

Market and

for

Southern

Africa (COMESA) Secretary

General Sindiso Ngwenya, has indicated that COMESA is ready to collaborate with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on issues of biodiversity conservation.

and

policy constraints that lead to low

The Secretary General noted that

COMESA through the COMESA

agricultural productivity resulting

COMESA Secretariat is already

Gender

to

in food insecurity” Mr Karangizi

addressing issues on biodiversity

sustainable

stated in a speech read on his

economic and social development

behalf by Mr Zerezghi Kidane from

of the region requires the full and

the Trade Division.

recognize

policy

continues

that

conservation within the COMESA Climate Change programme.

He

said this when Dr. Ali Kaka, IUCN regional director paid a courtesy call

equal participation of women, men

on him at the COMESA Secretariat

and youth. It was in response to

One of the often-cited reasons for

on 13th April 2011.

this policy, that the regional block

inadequately addressing gender

is Director for the Eastern and

endorsed Conservation Agriculture

in

Southern African IUCN Office.

(CA) and other COMESA Agriculture

mitigation interventions is that

programmes such as CAADP, and

practitioners lack the tools, know-

The

COMRAP to ensure that at least

how and good practices to integrate

Conservation of Nature is the

80 percent of the beneficiaries

gender perspectives in their work.

agriculture,

adaptation

and

are female farmers and female-

International

Dr. Ali Kaka

Union

for

world’s oldest and largest global environmental

network

-

a

democratic membership union with

headed households in order to fully

Mr Karangizi was hopeful that this

integrate them into agriculture and

meeting will be the start of many

climate change adaptation and

national and regional processes

almost 11,000 volunteer scientists

mitigation interventions.

to be undertaken that will seek to

in more than 160 countries.

more than 1,000 government and NGO member organisations, and

strategically develop appropriate COMESA

Assistant

Secretary

tools, instruments and interventions

COMESA

and IUCN have agreed

General

(programmes)

Stephen

that will assist various development

to formalise their collaboration

Karangizi who was then Acting

organisations and practitioners to

through signing of an MoU. Some

Secretary General; pointed out

design and implement programmes

that COMESA Member States are

on agriculture development and

cognisant of the critical role that

climate change with a gender

agriculture plays in their national

perspective.

of the areas of collaboration will include

practical

interventions

on Climate Change, Biodiversity conservation, food security and agro forestry. COMESA News Volume 11

13

Regional cooperation and integration started way back-Ngwenya

established to serve the two countries at different period as indicated: 1905 the East African Currency Board was set up to issue currency for Kenya and Uganda; in 1917 a Custom Union was established between Kenya and UgandaTanganyika [a former Germany colony] joined in1922 after the second world war as a Protectorate of the League of Nations administered by the British; later The East African High Commission and The East African Common Services organization were established.

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OMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya says that Regional cooperation and integration traces way back to the colonial era as evidenced by the various schemes and arrangements that were put in place then. Speaking when he presented a Key Note Address on “Regional Integration in African Context and Global Perspective” during the 2nd EAC Symposium, held in Arusha, Tanzania on 28th April, 2011; Mr. Ngwenya, said that Regional integration in Africa has undergone four phases. He identified the ironical colonial attempt to govern some countries together despite having balkanised them, as the first wave of regional cooperation and integration. The second wave as the one that took place immediately during the post independence where African tried to come together including the formation of OAU; the third wave Mr Ngwenya adds , is closely intertwined with the second wave and can be traced to the 1990’s after the collapse of the Soviet empire. This period witnessed the end

14

COMESA News Volume 11

of ideological polarisation and bi-polar world in that capitalism had triumphed over socialism and communism which also witnessed the beginning of the process of rapid and intense globalisation that is aided by information , and communication technology ICT) . The fourth wave of regional integration is the shift in political and economic power that we are witnessing with the shift from the West to the East and Latin America. He pointed out that the history of the East African Community for example can be traced as far back as1900, when customs revenue collection centre for Uganda was established in Mombasa, Kenya due to the fact that Kenya and Uganda were all British colonies. In order to achieve efficiency it did not make sense to the colonial power to have different institutions in the two countries setting up their own administrative institutions to administer common programmes. Mr. Ngwenya added that following the establishment of this Custom collection centre the institutions bellow were

He further pointed out that, other examples of regional co-operation influenced by the colonial masters include the establishment of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland which was established in 1953, comprising what was then Northern Rhodesia[now Zambia] ,Nyasaland [now Malawi] and Southern Rhodesia[ now Zimbabwe]. He said the second wave of Regional Integration came after the launching of the Organisation of African Union [OAU] in 1963 which witnessed intense debates between two schools of thought of how to realise African political and economic unity as a basis for sustainable development. The third wave according to Secretary General Ngwenya, can be discerned from the late 1980’s when bilateral donors and most importantly the Breton Woods Institutions [World Bank and International Monetary Fund] started paying attention to efforts by African countries through regional organisations to address the historical legacy of fragmentation and small economies through regional integration. Finally the Secretary General told the meeting that the Fourth Wave of Regional Integration in Africa can be traced to the mid 1990’s and the first

decade of the twenty first century, which has witnessed the implementation of regional integration, programmes in the form of Free Trade Area’s, Customs Unions and Common Markets. “ There is also progress in sub-regions, such as, East Africa towards the establishment of a political federation,” Ngwenya said.; “The prospects for Regional Integration have never been as good as now, not only in Africa but globally”. He added In conclusion Secretary General Ngwenya, said that there is evidence that the prospects of regional integration as a vehicle for the structural transformation of African economies are better than at any time since independence. He identified the following factors as the current key drivers to integration: •



Evidence of increased crossborder investments by investors in manufacturing and services sectors within and between regional economic communities. Investments in infrastructure interconnectivity between and among countries are taking place and will facilitate intra-African trade and investments.

African Leaders Pledge to “Speak with One Voice” at Durban Climate Change Talks

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ape Town, South Africa – At the World Economic Forum on Africa, the leaders of South Africa, Gabon and Kenya pledged to work together and take a united stance at the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban, South Africa, scheduled for November 2011. “The question for us leaders is how committed we are to be a little less selfish and to think of the community as a whole,” said Gabon’s President Ali Bongo Ondimba, in a session on the second day of the meeting. “It is important for us as Africans to get together. We will be determined to speak with one voice.” COP 17 will aim to shape a legally binding agreement on global warming to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which is set to end next year. “There are parts of the world where the challenge [of climate change] is very severe,” explained South African President Jacob G. Zuma. “For some, it is a question of life or death. The question that faces all of us is how we respond: Are we ready to have a legally binding agreement that would try to accommodate all of us?”



Evidence for the first time that Africa and the eastern and southern Africa region in particular is attracting investment in green field investments in manufacturing.

Failure at Durban is not an option, warned Raila Amolo Odinga, Prime Minister of Kenya. Rising food and energy prices due in part to climate conditions are adding to the urgency. “There is a need to act now; there is no need to wait,” Odinga declared.



The inclusion of industrial strategies and policies in regional integration programmes to complement trade driven integration is a refreshing departure from the concentration on trade policy as a catalyst for national development and regional integration.

To succeed in Durban and in the broader fight against global warming, governments must work with both business and civil society, the leaders agreed. “It is important to get the business community on board because financing is important,” Ondimba observed. “Government cannot shoulder the whole burden.”

The business community is prepared to play its part, said Pat Davies, Chief Executive of Sasol. “We need a Team Africa approach to make this a success.” But, he added, “Whatever agreement is reached by governments must not compromise competitiveness, growth and the alleviation of unemployment and poverty.” It is important to balance mitigation and adaptation efforts with economic development and growth, he said, warning against setting hard targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions without a clear understanding of their impact. South Africa should lead the talks in Durban with the principle of putting people first. “We have to look at the social dimensions of climate change,” Sheila Sisulu, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), stressed, underscoring the need to address the impact of global warming on women and children. “If Team Africa fails to fight for the inclusion of people, it would be more than unfortunate.” Said Sisulu, “The point is to act now – not to act after Durban and an agreement is reached. This is not about what will happen. It is happening now.” Noting that Africa’s potential as a global breadbasket could be compromised by climate change, Anand Sharma, India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, told participants that, as the international community aims to agree on a postKyoto framework, “equity is vitally important.” There must be equitable sharing of technology and resources, he declared. “Responsibilities cannot be compartmentalised. It has to be a team effort, a global partnership. No country or group of countries can address a problem of this magnitude.” He concluded: “Those with the technology must share them with the rest of humankind Source: Richard Elliott: World economic Forum

COMESA News Volume 11

15

COMESA Council of Ministers Chair Person Joins Israel Diamond Institute League of Honour welcomed the Minister and her delegation to the Israeli diamond centre. “We are very pleased to welcome you to the Israeli Diamond Industry,” he said, in the presence of the leaders of the Israeli diamond sector.

Hon. Jabulile Mashwama, Chair of COMESA Council of Ministers and Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade in the Kingdom of Swaziland being conferred upon the League of Honour certificate by Eli Avidar, Managing Director of the Israel Diamond Institute, and Moti Ganz, Chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute, President of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association and President of the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association. Photo courtesy of the Israel Diamond Institute Photographer: Chen Willner; Three Photographers Ltd

Leaders of the Israeli diamond industry with Hon. Jabulile Mashwama, COMESA Council of Ministers Chairperson and Dr. Chungu Mwila, COMESA Director, Investment Promotion & Private Sector Development. Photo courtesy of the Israel Diamond Institute Photographer: Chen Willner; Three Photographers Ltd

S

enator Jabulile Mashwama, the COMESA Council of Ministers Chairperson and Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade in the Kingdom of Swaziland, has joined the Israeli Diamond Institute’s (IDI) League of Honour. The IDI League of Honour was established as a symbol of tribute and appreciation to Heads of State and Government, and ministers who have acted to promote mutual cooperation between their nations and the Israeli Diamond Industry. The Minister was presented with the COMESA News Volume 11 16

League of Honour certificate during a visit to the Israeli Diamond Centre on 24th April, 2011, where she headed a 7 member delegation from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which promotes regional economic integration through trade and investment. Moti Ganz, Chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute, President of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association and President of the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association,

During the visit, the delegation was given a presentation by diamond industry analyst Chaim-Even-Zohar, who focused on Swaziland’s place in the diamond sector. Diamonds were first discovered in Swaziland in the 1970s, and while diamond production in the kingdom has largely ceased, there are plans that diamond production there will recommence later this year in the Dokolwayo region. Even-Zohar estimates diamond production in Swaziland will reach about 80,000 carats per year, and that the diamonds will be of a good quality. The kingdom’s admittance to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, initiated in 2010 when Israel chaired the process, is also proceeding and will be complete when the local legislation is finalized. “We expect a decision shortly regarding the Kimberley Process,” explained the Minister, who provided further insight into the progress regarding the recommencement of diamond production in Swaziland. The issue of the marketing of the kingdom’s diamonds was also raised during the visit. Zizwe Vilane, the Director of Foreign Direct Investments at the Swaziland

Investment Promotion Authority, gave an overview of the investment climate - and investment potential – in the Kingdom, which excels in various sectors such as coal, energy and sugar production. Others in the delegation led by the Minister included Dr. Chungu Mwila, COMESA Director of Investment, Promotion and Private Sector Development; Mr. Andrew Ngone, COMESA Senior Trade Advisor; Mr. Willis .W. Osemo, COMESA Webmaster, Mr. Nathaniel .H. Mahluza, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology, Kingdom of Swaziland and Mr. Dorrington Matiwane, CEO, SME Development, Kingdom of Swaziland and Augustine Iyoko, Rwanda Development board/ COMESA CNS/ATM project. Among the representatives of the Israeli diamond sector were Avi Paz, President of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and the Israel Diamond Exchange, who invited the Minister to the upcoming WFDB meeting, and Shmuel Schnitzer, Honorary President of the WFDB and Chairman of the Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum, who led the delegation on a tour of the museum. Other recipients of the IDI League of Honour include, Vice President of Sierra Leone Samuel Sam-Sumana, Dr. Eugene H. Shannon, Minister of Lands, Mines & Energy in Liberia, Mr Ponatshego Kedikilwe, Minister of Minerals Energy & Water Resources in Botswana, Minister of Mines and Energy in Namibia Erkki Nghimtina and Mr Ricardo Martinelli, President of the Republic of Panama.

COMESA holds Public Procurement training in Asmara, Eritrea

T

he first ever training workshop in

the Mr. Colas Ziki the Project Manager

public procurement administration

of the Enhancing Procurement Reforms

for Eritrea, took place in Asmara, in

and Capacity Project who also attended

April 2011. The Director General of the

the training Workshop. He said that for

Treasury Department in the Ministry

the market to work, Member States had

of Finance, Mrs. Matha Wolderghegis,

to comply with the key market principles

officially opened the five day training

involving

workshop which commenced on 13th

and non-discrimination in the tendering

April.

system – these are all enshrined in the

In

her

opening

remarks,

competition,

transparency

Mrs.

Regional Procurement Regulations that

Wolderghegis recognised the objective

were passed by the COMESA Council of

of the training which was to build the

Ministers in June 2009 and are on the

capacity for government officials who

gazette page (Volume 15 No. 3) on the

are involved in procurement and also

COMESA home page at http://www.

to familiarise themselves with the

comesa.int

international and COMESA procurement practices.

As the market develops, interested suppliers in the region and beyond will

The training workshop was well attended

then be free to submit their bids in line

- Forty participants were drawn from

with specific tendering instructions

all key Ministries involved with public

given by the specific procuring entity.

procurement and in addition there were

Given the high-level harmonization that

25 participants who were taken through

has taken place since the start of the

the COMESA Procurement Management

COMESA procurement reforms where

Information system (PROMIS).

13 out of 19 countries now have modern procurement system that are all nearly

PROMIS is a web-driven portal which

compliant to the COMESA Procurement

forms the core element of the COMESA

Directive, suppliers should be able to

public procurement market. Member

get a measure of comfort from the

States are now compelled to advertise

harmonized system that will encourage

all tenders notices of regional interest

them to submit bids knowing fully well

covering goods, services and works onto

that procurement systems are almost

the PROMIS portal that can be browsed

the same and that bids will be treated in

at http://promis.comesa.int.

a non-discriminatory manner.

The site

is currently carrying the first batch of Tenders that have been posted by a

Regarding

number of Member States as part of the

process, most of the Member States are

ongoing PROMIS training in the region.

still operating manual tendering system

With more tenders expected to be

so bidders will invariably be required

uploaded in the next two to three

to deposit their bids at a given physical

months, the COMESA region should

address in a given country. This accepted,

expect to see the start of a vibrant

what is crucial for the market to work

internal market in public procurement

is to ensure that there are no further

which should contribute to COMESA

obstacles that will discourage suppliers

intra-regional trade – this was stated by

from participating in the market.

the

regional

tendering

COMESA News Volume 11

17

Israel commits to support COMESA in different development fields

The Minister also expressed his country’s interest in pursuing mining in Africa, especially in the area of jewelry and gem stones mining. He looked forward to detailed discussion on the mining sector.”

Israeli Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, Hon. Shalom Simhon (third from left) with the delegations from COMESA and the Kingdom of Swaziland

T

he Israeli Government is willing to support COMESA initiatives in the field of science & technology, agriculture, mining; small and medium enterprises development. This was revealed by the Israeli Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, Shalom Simhon, when he received a 7 member delegation from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and from the Kingdom of Swaziland, which paid him a courtesy call at his office in Tel Aviv, Israel. The Minster Simhon noted that the Government of the State of Israel has deep interest in extending its cooperation with African states and cooperating with COMESA will definitely enhance this. The Minister emphasized that, “One of the problems that hinders the leap forward is finding the right partner. The State of Israel would be an appropriate partner in the field of telecoms and other fields as well, and COMESA being a regional organization, is suitable partner in this venture. I

18

COMESA News Volume 11

have no doubt that we will join forces to achieve common goals that require a common denominator” Photo: Israeli Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, Hon. Shalom Simhon (third from left) with the delegations from COMESA and the Kingdom of Swaziland Mr Simhon also pointed out that Israel had learnt from experience, that building advanced telecom infrastructure and linking into it is a big boost to development. “In Israel you can find the world’s leading telecom companies that specialise in telecom solutions appropriate to Africa, especially in accessing remote areas.” In this regard, he underscored that Africa has a lot to learn from Israel since it is the only country in the world that has managed to conquer the desert. “More than half of Israel’s exports in agriculture originate from the desert areas and 70% of the fruits and vegetables are grown in the desert.” He pointed out.

Elaborating on the issues of SMEs, the Minister said that the Israeli government will be pleased to assist in the areas of marketing and financing of the sector. The Israeli Government, he said, will share its’ knowledge and assist in setting up structures that will help SMEs in the COMESA region to thrive. Minister Simhon assured the delegation that the support agreement to COMESA will be signed by October this year. “I will instruct my technical team to move with speed to ensure that this support agreement is signed on time”. Speaking at the same function, Senator Mashwama who is the Chairperson of the COMESA Council of minister thanked the Israel Government for its willingness to support not only science & technology but also SMEs, agriculture and mining. “We are glad that you are willing to support SMEs. We have learnt that here in Israel, SMEs are well groomed and supported by the government. We have also learnt and seen that there are other initiatives that Israel has and from MATIMOP we have learnt of some existing relationships and agreements with non-African countries and similar relationships and agreements can be beneficial to Africa and COMESA in particular; in terms of capacity building and exchange of expertise in information and technology.

COMESA and IOC Gender Divisions to collaborate in three areas

the two RECS to learn from each other’s weaknesses and strengths. “We have notices that our colleagues have certain weaknesses and strengths that we can learn from and they too can learn from ours” Mrs. Tembo Said. She said that there is need for COMESA to strengthen advocacy in the gender programmes in terms of resource mobilization and capacity building.

From left: Ms.Maria D. Phiri, Gender Focal Person for Agriculture and Climate Change, Mrs Fatoumia Ali Bazi, IOC Gender Unit Officer in Charge, Mrs Tembo COMESA Gender Director and Mrs. Aline Wong, Consultant for IOC,

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OMESA and the Indian Ocean Community gender divisions recently agreed on three areas of collaboration.

makes it very easy for us (IOC) to implement any project of that nature’” She said.

The three areas are violence against women, women entrepreneurs and women in climate change.

Mrs. Bazi further said that her organization hopes to learn a lot in climate change related programmes because COMESA has made tremendous achievements and is currently leading way in the field. “We hope to learn from you in the area of climate change because we realize that you have workable examples of the climate change projects that involve women”.

Speaking in an interview with e-comesa news, after a consultative meeting at the COMESA Secretariat on the 6th May 2011, Charges d’ affaires responsible for Gender at the Indian Ocean Community, Mrs Fatoumia Bazi said that IOC finds it best to work with COMESA because of the long standing relationships between the two RECS. “ This relationship we are building started way back, but it is the first time that my organization is working with the gender division and I am very excited to work with this division “, Mrs. Bazi said. She said that her organization will spearhead some projects dealing with women entrepreneurship because of the organization’s vast knowledge and experience in the field.

Mrs Bazi expressed hope that the joint effort will yield the desired results especially that the two Secretary Generals from both COMESA and IOC are spearheading the programme. And speaking later the Director of Gender and Social affairs at the COMESA Secretariat Mrs. Emiliana Tembo said that the collaboration will help enhance regional integration especially that OIC and COMESA have cross membership states in both RECS.

“ As you may know, Mauritius is leading in women entrepreneurship because they have a national programme which

Mrs. Tembo revealed that both the IOC and COMESA Gender Divisions have lapses and therefore there is need for

“We need to be very aggressive when it comes to advocacy, we need to find money for capacity building so that we learn how to tackle some of the challenges we are facing as gender division’” Mrs. Tembo added. She said that COMESA is very optimistic about the collaboration and that COMESA will share information in areas where it is strong like female farmers and climate change. Mrs. Tembo retaliated the importance of women’s involvement in climate change programmes, as they are the most affected by challenges that come with it. “ Women are the one who go to look for food, look after the sick and so on, and so you can see just how they come face to face with climate change challenges”, she echoed. Mrs. Tembo employed women from the IOC and COMESA to take centre stage and build their capacity to know how to adapt and adopt the challenges that Climate change brings. “As women in the two RECs, we need to know the new technological advances that will help mitigate these challenges so that we can apply the them” she gave, conservation agriculture as an example that could enhance food security in the two regions. COMESA News Volume 11

19

COMESA launches Input Seed Multiplication Project in Zimbabwe

C

OMESA in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development of the Republic of Zimbabwe, has launched an Input Seed Multiplication Project at Mutema Irrigation Scheme in Chipinge District on Manicaland Province in Zimbabwe. This was done on Sunday15 May 2011 During the official launch of the Project, COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya in his speech read on his behalf by Mrs Emiliana Tembo; COMESA Director of Gender and Social Affairs, pointed out that the European Union funded Input Seed Multiplication Project has been a great success and can be recognized as one of the best practices in a matrix and interplay of research for testing, trials and seed multiplication; inputs supply; extension services; marketing and distribution; insurance and finance and coordination for the small-scale farmers. “The project has also demonstrated to women and youth that seed multiplication could be a profitable business that has the capacity to generate employment for hundreds of individual and families in these provinces and the rest of the country” said Mr. Ngwenya. He further noted that the COMESA Treaty recognizes that sustainable economic and social development of the region requires the effective participation of women, and the COMESA Gender Policy advocates equal and full participation of women in all aspects of COMESA programmes. Mr. Ngwenya added that in order to translate the mandates of the COMESA Treaty and Council decisions related to agriculture, COMESA activities in this area are translated into the wider continental framework under the New Partnership

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COMESA News Volume 11

for African Development in Agriculture, commonly referred to as NEPAD, which has adopted a Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

COMESA Secretary General visits the COMESA Monetary Institute

O

n Friday 20 May 2011, the COMESA

Secretary

General

Sindiso Ngwenya, paid a visit to the

He pointed out that the CAADP Programme is more cardinal for agriculture with the climate change impact on environment and that COMESA is supporting the Government of Zimbabwe in the design of the conservation agriculture investment framework which will guide investment on Climate Smart Agriculture. He cited other challenges that are plaguing agriculture such as under utilization of water resources for irrigation, low levels of investment in agriculture; high transaction costs in doing business as a result of poor infrastructure; value addition, product and services standards, Sanitary and Phyto Sanitary standards (SPS); pests and diseases and low use of improved seeds and fertilizers. The Secretary General revealed that he was reliably informed that the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development in Zimbabwe has benefited from a US$155,480., provided under the EU-Food Facility, and that the resources were used to purchase groundnuts and sugar bean seed, fertilizers and chemicals .

newly established COMESA Monetary Institute (CMI), based at Kenyan School of Monetary Studies (KSMS) Nairobi, Kenya; he was received by Professor Kinandu Muragu, the Executive Director of the KSMS and Mr. Ibrahim A. Zeidy, Senior Monetary Economist, at COMESA Secretariat who has been seconded by the Secretariat to set up the Institute. Welcoming

the

Secretary

General,

Professor Muragu said the KSMS is highlyhonoured to host the Institute. He expressed his full confidence that the Institute will significantly contribute for the achievement of the mission of the school which is to be a premier institution for capacity building for the financial sector in Africa. This, he added; is the crucial factor for achieving enhanced monetary integration in the region. Secretary General, Ngwenya expressed his heartfelt thanks for the Government of Kenya, the Central Bank of Kenya and KSMS for hosting the Institute. He underscored that the collaboration of the School and the Institute will significantly contribute to undertaking

He further said that the groundnut seed multiplication project has expanded commendably; covering a combined total of 105 hectares in both Manicaland and Mashonaland East Province; and the sugar bean project is covering a combined total of 240 hectares in Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West Provinces, and Manicaland.

in depth research and capacity building in monetary integration issues in the region. He agreed with Professor Muragu that this will no doubt contribute for the achievement of enhanced regional monetary

cooperation

which

will

culminate in the COMESA Monetary Union in 2018.

COMESA/AfDB Launch CNS/ATM Project

T

he Common Market for Eastern

project”, Karangizi said. This PIU

systems that will help create

and Southern Africa (COMESA)

shall be hosted in Kigali, Rwanda.

smooth linkages amongst the

and the Africa Development Bank

A host agreement was concluded

markets in the region.

( AfDB) on 23 May 2011, launched

between Rwanda and COMESA

the COMESA

Communication

Secretariat and was signed by

And

Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic

the Rwandan Minister for Foreign

Development Bank AfDB, Country

Management (CNS/ATM) project.

Affairs and Regional Cooperation,

Representative to Zambia, Freddie

Louise Mushikiwabo and COMESA

Kwesiga said that the project has

According to COMESA Assistant

Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya

come at a time that the bank is

Secretary General (programmes)

on 22 February 2011.

working closely with partners like

Stephen Karangizi, who was then

speaking

earlier

Africa

COMESA to deepen integration

acting Secretary General; the

The Assistant Secretary General

initiatives especially those that are

project; which is valued at about

said that the launch of the

aimed at easing air transport and

US$ 8.6 million, is one of the

project now paves the way for the

communication barriers across

priority projects for the COMESA-

commencement of the project

the African continent. Mr Kwesiga

EAC-SADC Tripartite arrangement.

implementation as the Secretariat

emphasised the important role

has now completed most of the

played by regional integration

Mr. Karangizi added that the

conditions precedent to entry into

despite some challenges. “We

project is expected to render an

force and first disbursement of the

are aware of the challenges

enabling legal and regulatory

Grant.

and opportunities that regional

framework for a unified upper

integration offers to the African

airspace in the COMESA Region; as

Speaking at the same ceremony,

continent,” noted Mr Kwesiga.

well as endow the region with an

the Zambian government through

“The AfDB has put the region on

adequate institutional framework

the deputy Permanent Secretary

top of its strategic objectives which

for

regulating

at the ministry of communication

include infrastructure, regional

regional Air Traffic Services. He

and transport Chitalu Kabalika said

integration, the private sector and

further said that the project

that sustainable development has

governance as key pillars in order

would allow the conclusion of the

always been top on the agenda

to deliver on our strategy”, he

Public Private Partnership (PPP)

for the government and Africa at

added.

arrangements to finance, build

large.

providing

and

and operate the regional CNS/ATM

He said that once implemented

infrastructure.“Under the Project

Mr. Kabati said that it is no wonder

the project would among other

Implementation arrangements a

the

in

things improve the air safety hence

dedicated project implementation

Africa have come up with various

leading to significant economic

unit, the COMESA CNS/ATM PIU,

strategies and programmes to

and social transformation of the

will be set up to provide day-to-

ease and enhance transportation

African continent.

various

governments

day executive management of the COMESA News Volume 11

21

COMESA attends the Fourth UN conference on LDCs

T

he COMESA Assistant Secretary General (Administration and finance) Ambassador Nagla El-Hussainy represented COMESA at the Fourth UN conference on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) which was held in Istanbul, Turkey; on 9 – 13 May 2011; where; at the invitation of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) she addressed a side event under the theme: “Enhancing the role of small and medium enterprises in agribusiness global value chains”. The side event was held on 10 May 2011. In her address Ambassador El-Hussainy pointed out the significance of such a forum to COMESA, pointing out that 14 out of the 19 COMESA Member States are LDCs. She noted that COMESA has paid particular attention to ensuring that with time , LDC’s capacities are built and relevant Trade Related Technical Assistance is facilitated through COMES’s various programmes so that LDCs are integrated in the global trading economy hence, contributing to COMESA’s vision of becoming fully integrated and internationally competitive. Ambassador El-Hussainy told her audience that a lot has been achieved by the COMESA region through deepening its economic integration. She particularly identified the launch of the Customs Union in June 2009, following the establishment of the Free Trade Area in 2000 as areas that have deepened COMESA integration. Since the year 2000, intra-COMESA trade has increased over four-fold from USD 3.1 billion to USD 13.6 billion in 2008 with a slight drop in 2009 attributed to the financial crisis and the resulting global recession which may be considered a temporary setback.

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COMESA News Volume 11

She emphasised the role of Small and Medium Industries (SMEs) in the COMESA region. “The importance of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as noted by COMESA cannot be overemphasized. It plays a pivotal role in economic and social development through its contribution to employment creation, wealth, economic growth and a supply feeding ground for industries. It is viewed as one of the sustainable ways of reducing poverty and improving the quality of life of households”. Said the Assistant Secretary General. She pointed out that SMEs contribution to the GDP in the region is between 18 to 20 %, adding that medium and micro industries in the COMESA region are characterized by the predominance of small industrial units, which mostly produce for national and regional markets. “The industrial base of the COMESA Member States is characterized by a significant number of SMEs operating in the informal sector” she said. This year’s conference was one of the biggest development movements worldwide in 2011. It was attended by 36 Heads of State, 96 Ministers, 66 heads of regional and international organizations, Parliamentarians and civil society representatives The conference adopted the “Istanbul Declaration”, the “Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for

Ambassador Nagla El-Hussainy

the Decade 2011-2020.” This Declaration reflects the broad recognition that the overall results of the Brussels Programme of Action (BPoA) which had fallen far short of hopes and expectations, and those important lessons should be drawn from the experience of the last decade. It also endorses the LDCs’ commitment to achieving the conditions that would permit rapid progress toward graduation, and ultimately toward elimination of the need for the LDC category. To achieve these goals and objectives, all stakeholders, public and private, North and South, regional, sub-regional and inter-regional, should recognize that they have a common responsibility to step up, intensify, creatively diversify and sustain their efforts to support the least advantaged and most vulnerable societies for all.

LEATHER SECTOR CAN SURPASS MEAT COMESA Monetary Institute (CMI) INDUSTRY – Zambian Government conducts training The Government of Zambia has commended the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa-COMESA for its efforts in putting up a regional leather sector, which is viable and competitive.

Livestock and fisheries deputy minister Albert Mulonga says COMESA has been working hard to rebrand the leather sector in the region. Mr Mulonga says the leather sector has potential to grow and surpass the meat industry. He was speaking during the launch of the supply, demand dissemination workshop in Lusaka organized by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa in partnership with the International Trade Centre on 28th April 2011 at the Protea Hotel in Lusaka. Mr Mulonga said that the COMESA region is currently facing challenges especially in the smallholder farming system where farmers do not know the economic value of hides and skins. “ There is need to educate both commercial and small scale farmers involved in keeping cattle on the value of hides and skins and provide incentives so that they can be able to produce quality products”, Mulonga said. He called on all ministries responsible for livestock development in the COMESA region to ensure that high quality production of Hide and skins is attained if the region is to become competitive in the industry. And speaking at the same occasion COMESA assistant General Secretary in charge of programmes Stephen Karangizi said COMESA with other regional

Economic Communities like SADC and East African Community is working on establishing the biggest ever-tripartite free trade area.

on Macroeconomic Modeling and Forecasting

Mr. Karangizi said that there is need to strengthen the capacity of regional and national private sector institutions and small and medium enterprises –SMEs in order to enhance export competitiveness, market linkages and export revenue especially with special focus on women-owned enterprises.

T

“ We are trying to respond to the need fro industrialisation and recognition that our industries are still dominated by SMEs along side the value chains of various sectors, therefore PACT II is dedicated to sector specific product and market development”, Karangizi said. “ We are also building capacities of these SMEs and Trade Support institutions for regional and international markets, in line with regional Leather and Leather products sector strategy framework”, He added; The Assistant Secretary General said that the objectives of the workshop were to develop an intra-regional leather and leather product trade by linking SMEs to the regional markets such as South Africa, Egypt, India, and Italy. “The COMESA region offers great opportunities for joint Partnerships and I would like to encourage our SMEs to identify potential opportunities for joint ventures”, Mr. Karangizi concluded. The Programme for Building African Capacity for Trade (PACT II) is a COMESA programme funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

he COMESA Monetary Institute (CMI) housed at the Kenyan School of Monetary Studies in Nairobi, Kenya, recently organized training for senior experts from Member States’ Ministries of Finance and Central Banks on Macroeconomic Modeling and Forecasting. The training that took place on 2-6 May, 2011 was attended by 27 participants from 13 member countries. The training is one of the work programmes of the Institute which was approved by the 15th Meeting of the COMESA Committee of Central Banks Governors, which was held in November 2010 in Khartoum, Sudan. The main objective of the training is to help participants have hands-on capacity on the use of quantitative analytical methods of macroeconomic modeling and forecasting which would enable the formulation and implementation of better-informed and more consistent development policies. It will also enable the development of consistency frameworks for policy coherence and harmonization among COMESA Member States. CMI strongly believes that capacity building in policy oriented research is crucial to foster regional integration, monitor convergence criteria, harmonise development policies of Member States and to create an adequate environment for private investment, value addition, export promotion and macroeconomic stability. COMESA News Volume 11 23

ATI 10 years old, and continues to grow from strength to strength

Benin, Cote d’ Ivoire, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ghana, Gabon, Liberia, Sudan, Togo and Zimbabwe are at various stages of

completing

their

membership.

Corporate members include, Africa Re, Atradius(Gerling Credit Emerging Market SA), COMESA, PTA Bank, ZEP-RE and SACE SpA. ATI‘s profitability has continued to grow consistently and has kept its claim loss ratios at very comfortable level. It has also leveraged its capital through partnership agreements with insurers and re-insurers in the domestic and international markets. In 2011, ATI began underwriting projects in West Africa , with a number of new countries including Benin, Cote d’ Ivoire and Togo having been admitted into membership in 2010 In order to serve the continent better, ATI has been decentralising its operations by opening new offices in its member countries.

Besides the Nairobi- Kenya

headquarters, AIT has opened braches in Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia and is scheduled to establish a West African hub in the near future.

The Africa Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) a

various entrepreneurs in its member

COMESA multilateral financial institution

countries, thereby opening up new

providing export credit insurance, political

export markets, increasing access to

The reports further indicate that ATI’ has

risk insurance, investment insurance and

credit and facilitating improvements

a strong capital and liquidity position;

other financial products to help reduce the

to infrastructures. The strong business

backed up with reaffirmed long-term

business risks and costs of doing business

results of ATI is most significant in less

stable “A” rating by Standard and Poor’s in

in Africa held its Eleventh Annual General

stable member countries, where without

their 2010 review. The Impact Assessment

Assembly on 19 May 2011 at Crown

ATI support , capacity would not be

report which was undertaken by ATI

Plaza Hotel, Nairobi Kenya. The GA was

available in the global market for credit

revealed that ATI remains relevant and

preceded by a Round Table on Trade and

and investment insurance.

enabled member countries in the creation of jobs, revamping infrastructure, and

Investment in Africa. Although ATI is a COMESA institution, it

increasing export sales into new and

According to Resolutions adopted by the

has gone beyond COMESA boundaries. As

existing markets. ATI has also helped to

Eleventh Annual General Meeting of ATI

at May 2011, it had membership across the

stimulate primary and secondary financial

and the 2010 Annual Report presented,

African Continent, numbering 19 States

markets in its member countries thus

ATI has made tremendous achievement

namely: Benin, Burundi, Cote D’Ivoire,

facilitating access to credit for exports and

since its establishment in 2001 as indicated

the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC),

investment.

below:

Djibouti, Eritrea, Ghana, Gabon, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda,

ATI intends to pilot a Credit Risk Insurance

Since then, ATI has offered guarantees

Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia,

product in the coming months that will

and insurance in support of trade and

and Zimbabwe.

allow banks to lend more to Small and

investments in excess of $2.5 billion to

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COMESA News Volume 11

Medium sized companies.