E comesa newsletter-252

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Highlights:-

* AU COMESA Consult on Infrastructure
* COMESA Countries assess participation towards full implementation of Custom Union.
* COMESA Secretariat “Best in the Service Provider Category”
* What the Year of Peace means to COMESA
* COMESA discusses promotion of Trade in Services
* Member States Participate in crafting COMESA Medium Term Strategic Plan
* DR Kaberuka re-elected as AfDB President
* Information Exchange to enrich COMESA region

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E comesa newsletter-252

  1. 1. newsletter 1 Issue #252 --28th MayOctober 2007 Issue #126 Friday 19 2010 newsletter AU COMESA Consult on Infrastructure A high level delegation from the African Union Commission visited the COMESA Secretariat on 24 May 2010. The delegation was led by Her Excellency, Dr. Elham Ibrahim, the Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy. The composition of the delegation included the Director for Infrastructure and Energy, the COMESA Liaison Officer to AUC, the Head of Transport and Tourism and the Head of Energy. Photo COMESA AUC consultations COMESA Secretary General welcoming Dr. Elham Ibrahim, the Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy. The high level delegation from the African Union Commission met with Aid for Trade Programme was a Uganda and Kigali, Rwanda). the Secretary General of COMESA, His joint COMESA-EAC-SADC initiative Resources will also be mobilised for Excellency Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya and whose aim is to reduce the time, the Lamu, Kenya-Southern Sudan- his staff. .Additionally the Director of and so the costs, of road and rail Ethiopia corridor. Infrastructure Development and the travel along two priority Corridors of officers dealing with infrastructure NEPAD. These are the Dar es Salaam The issues that were highlighted issues at COMESA Secretariat Corridor, which links the port of Dar by the African Union Commission attended the meeting. es Salaam to the Copperbelt; and the included the Programme for North-South Corridor, which links the Infrastructure Development in The issues that were discussed in Copperbelt to the southern ports of Africa (PIDA), which is envisaged the meeting included key COMESA Africa. The Corridor, with its spurs, to contribute to closing the achievements in the areas of policy services eight countries – Tanzania, infrastructure gap, increasing and regulatory harmonisation, DR Congo, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, competitiveness of African markets trade and transport facilitation and Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South and reducing poverty in Africa. promotion of the development Africa. of regional physical transport, Other issues included the African communications and energy Petroleum Fund, whose main infrastructure whose overall objective Additionally, it was highlighted that objective is to mitigate the effects of is to reduce the cost of doing COMESA would organise a High Level the increase in oil prices as well as the business and enhance COMESA’s Conference for the mobilisation of African Maritime Transport Charter, competitiveness in intra and extra resources for the development of the whose main thrust is to strengthen markets. Northern Corridor (from Mombasa, cooperation among Member States in On the corridors, it was highlighted Kenya to Goma, Congo DR and maritime transport and inland water that the North-South Corridor Pilot Bujumbura, Burundi via Kampala, continued to page 3 This bulletin is published by the COMESA Secretariat Public Relations Unit but does not necessarily represent views of the Secretariat. For Feedback: pr@comesa.int Contact Address : COMESA SECRETARIAT, COMESA Center , Ben Bella Road P.O. Box 30015, 260 1 229 725, 260 1 225 107 www.comesa.int www.comesa.int, e.COMESA@comesa.int
  2. 2. COMESA Countries assess participation 2 towards full implementation of Custom Union. T he Second Meeting of states highlighted the steps the Committee on the undertaken to establish Customs Union was national mechanisms for held on 10-13 May 2010 in implementing the Customs Harare, Zimbabwe to consider Union and domesticating the the extent to which Member key instruments, particularly States had implemented the the CTN and the Customs Council Decisions on issues Management Regulations. relating to submission of lists of sensitive products, Additionally, Member States’ tariff alignment schedules support for the Tripartite and other work needed to FTA was emphasised, with implement the Customs requests that meetings on key Union during the transition thematic issues be started. Mr Stephen Karangiz period ending in 2012. The Committee underscored The Director of International the importance of the Secretariat will be starting Trade in the Zimbabwe three RECs and the three points for Member States to Ministry of Industry and Secretariats closely moving generate their own schedules, Commerce, Mrs Beatrice and working together. and the various studies and Mutetwa, opened the assessments that are on-going meeting and, in her speech, Furthermore, based on a will be finalised with close highlighted the importance questionnaire run at the cooperation between Member of the work to be done meeting by the COMESA States and the Secretariat. during the transition period Secretariat to assess what Generation of tariff alignment to ensure that the Customs Member States felt about schedules is a critical step Union is in place by 2012. The key COMESA programmes, in implementing the three- Assistant Secretary General it was found that, among year transition period for (Programmes), Mr Stephen other things, there is 100% the COMESA Customs Karangizi, made opening support for the infrastructure Union, as the schedules are remarks on behalf of the programmes, 94% for the the action plans showing COMESA Secretary General, Customs Union, 89% for how the Member State will Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya, in agriculture programmes, progressively align its national which he expressed hope 89% for trade facilitation tariffs to the COMESA CET. that the discussions and programmes, 83% for The first adjustment to the recommendations of the the intellectual property COMESA CET is due this year meeting would move the programme, and 82% for the 2010. In addition, progress region to another level in services programme. was made on key studies that the implementation of the have been outstanding in Customs Union. The Committee agreed that that these were presented, the draft tariff alignment discussed and comments During the event, Member schedules generated by the made for their finalisation. www.comesa.int
  3. 3. COMESA Secretariat “Best AU COMESA Consult on Infrastructure in the Service Provider from page 1 3 Category” navigation. The meeting noted that the key achievements of COMESA can contribute to the continental programmes of the African Union. In this respect, the following were identified, among others, as contributors, to PIDA: a. Transport and Communication Strategy (TCS) and a Priority Investment Plan (PIP) which is being prepared; b. The electric power master plan which is being developed by the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP), which is one of the specialized institutions A t the ongoing by the First lady, Madame of COMESA in the field of electric power; and Malawi International Callista Mutharika as well Trade Fair, the as the Right Honourable c. The COMESA Model Energy COMESA Stand was judged Vice President, Madame Policy, the ICT Policy, the Broadcasting Policy and the best in the Service Joyce Banda, honoured the Postal Policy. Provider Category and was COMESA stand with a visit. The meeting further noted that subsequently awarded a 1st the African Petroleum Fund prize trophy. During the Trade show, could additionally benefit from the COMESA Secretariat, the experience of the COMESA Fund whose main thrust is to The prize was handed to in conjunction with the channel resources to support the Stand Director by H.E Malawi Confederation of regional integration by marrying Dr. Bingu Wa Mutharika, Chambers and Industry policy reforms and infrastructure development. President of the Republic (MCCI) organised a capacity of Malawi at the official building workshop on Events • 31st May to 1st June opening of the Trade Fair, on Opportunities in the Launch of the CAADP Process 22 May 2010. COMESA Customs Union in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the COMESA-EAC-SADC • 24th to 26th May Tripartite Earlier in the day, His Tripartite arrangement, with Meeting on Procedures for Excellency Bingu Wa particular Harmonization of Standards for Staple Foods. Nairobi Kenya Mutharika, accompanied www.comesa.int
  4. 4. What the Year of Peace means to COMESA C 4 OMESA has joined the address relatively new still face the region. The Ninth AU Commission and challenges that are witnessed in Meeting of the Ministers of other Regional Economic the region. Foreign Affairs, which was held Communities (RECs) of Africa to in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe in commemorate Africa’s Year of Over the last decades, conflicts June 2009 considered these Peace and Security. To that end, particularly in the Horn of Africa challenges, including relatively COMESA has lined up a range and the Great Lakes Region new and complex issues such of activities that effectively appeared to be endemic with as piracy and the rising concern add impetus to ongoing efforts little hope for resolutions. on constitutional and elections to restore peace, security and However, concerted and related crises. As COMESA stability in the region. The sustained efforts have seen these observes the year of peace, urgency to refocus on the region conflicts transformed, propelling efforts will be made to invigorate with the view of propelling it the countries to a path of the fight against piracy, which to higher levels of economic reconstruction and economic COMESA sees as a war economy development was highlighted development. Mr. Ngwenya issue that has exploited the by the Secretary General, noted that most of these conflict in Somalia to entrench Mr. Ngwenya, in a statement conflicts been resolved through and propagate, and which has made to announce COMESA’s African-led mediation and to be dealt with holistically and participation in events to further reflected on the high rate collaboratively. With respect commemorate the year of peace. of conflict resolution in Africa to constitutional and elections compared to the global rate. related crises, COMESA working 2010 was declared to be the in close partnership with EAC year of peace and security for COMESA therefore sees the and IGAD will be launching a the continent on 31 August Africa Year of Peace as a good joint programme that will focus 2009 by the Heads of State and opportunity to highlight Africa’s on democracy, governance and Government of the African Union capabilities and show-case human rights during the year. on the occasion of a special COMESA’s efforts. As intimated Apart from stepping up efforts Session on the Consideration and by the Secretary General, to resolve on-going conflicts Resolution of conflicts in Africa, international media has rarely and address the relatively new which was held in Tripoli, Libya. focused on the numerous good challenges noted above, the For COMESA, the activities to efforts made in the region other activities which will be commemorate the year of peace towards transforming it. used to commemorate and will be designed to be both a celebrate the year of peace celebration and an energiser. “Sadly however, these efforts include, among others, the These activities will celebrate the have not always received due launching of Trade Information gains made towards resolving recognition and have often times Desks at Goma and Gisenyi and some of the longest and most been crowded out by negative efforts to enhance the role of protracted conflicts that were media”. Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya, COMESA Inter-Parliamentarian witnessed in the region over 2010. Forum in the fight against the last two decades; they will war economies. Additional energise not only the resolution COMESA is however very activities will be announced of the remaining ongoing cognizant of the magnitude and highlighted in e-COMESA in conflicts but will additionally of some of the challenges that future publications. www.comesa.int
  5. 5. COMESA discusses THIS WEEKS COURTESY CALLS promotion of Trade in Services 5 T he Committee on Trade in Services met on 17-19 May 2010 in Harare, Zimbabwe to reach consensus on the priority services sectors and to initiate work on the preparation of schedules of specific commitments in the COMESA region. Mrs Abigail Shonhiwa, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in the Republic of Zimbabwe opened the meeting by emphasising the important role that services play in making economies competitive and the significant Sindiso Ngwenya welcoming the Cuba Ambassador Her Excellency Carmelian Ramires Rodriguez at COMESA Secretariat contribution that services make to the GDPs of the countries in the region. The Director of Trade, Customs and Monetary Affairs, Dr Francis Mangeni, on behalf of the Secretary General of COMESA, made opening remarks where he pointed out that the aim of the meeting was for the region to discuss and agree on the priority services sectors and start work on the schedules of commitment. At the event, the Committee decided that the services liberalisation programme will start with the four sectors that the 13 Member Ambassador Nagla El Hussainy welcoming Her Excellency Marie Andersson de Frutos States that submitted lists of their Ambassador Embassy of Sweden at COMESA Secretariat priority sectors indicated. These are communications, transport, finance and tourism services. The third meeting of the Committee is tentatively planned for November 2010, when the Member States will undertake text-based negotiations on the extent they will open up the four sectors as well as select three more sectors for the next negotiating meeting. In addition, the Committee agreed that Member States can undertake commitments and open up the other additional sectors they indicated, as some Member States had indicated seven to ten sectors for Ambassador Nagla El Hussainy welcoming His Excellency Attalla Qubia liberalisation. Ambassador of the State of Palestine at COMESA Secretariat www.comesa.int
  6. 6. Member States Participate in crafting 6 COMESA Medium Term Strategic Plan and COMESA Institutions. The meeting was opened by the Assistant Secretary General ( programmes) Mr Stephen Karangizi who stating the importance of planning for the achievement of COMESA’s regional integration agenda. He went through the background to the 2011-2015 MTSP , Part of the high table Ambassador Nagla El Hussainy and Mr Stephen Karangizi adding that this wil be will A s the COMESA Committee in December be the fourth Strategic Plan Medium Term 2009, the Secretariat for COMESA building on the Strategic Plan (MTSP) presented an update of achievements and challenges for 2008 – 2010 comes to progress, including proposed of the previous plans. He an end in December 2010, next steps. thereafter the thanked the participants for their continued commitment the COMESA Secretariat in COMESA Council of Ministers in the process of developing consultation with member requested the Secretariat the Strategic Plan. states is undertaking a road to organize a workshop map for the preparation of involving member States The objective of the a successor MTSP for the on the preparation of the workshop is to facilitate period 2011 – 2015. This 2011-2015 MTSP. It is in this consultations on the draft process has thus far involved regard that the COMESA MTSP particularly the participatory internal Secretariat this week (27- priorities and strategic consultations, a strategic 29 May 2010) y hosted the areas identified for the next management retreat, and 2011-2015 Medium Term planning cycle. By involving a strategic review and Strategic Planning Workshop different stakeholders, it also planning meeting held in . Participants of the meeting enhances the ownership September 2009 involving included senior officials of the MTSP beyond the senior officials from member from co-ordinating ministries COMESA Secretariat. Input States. At the meeting of from member States, received from the meeting the Intergovernmental representatives from the will be used to finalize the member States private sector draft MTSP www.comesa.int
  7. 7. DR Kaberuka re-elected as AfDB President integration of the continent,” he excellent decision. 7 said. AfDB and COMESA have over the Kaberuka said he would achieve years collaborated in different this by working closely with field that support regional and regional economic communities Continental integration. These (RECs). include Public Procurement reforms, and agriculture The former Rwandan finance marketing information systems. minister was first elected as the 7th President of the Bank in AfDB is also a member of the 2005. COMESA Financial arm the PTA D r. Donald Kaberuka has Bank. Indeed it is the only been re-elected as the Since his election, Dr. Kaberuka institutional investor in the Bank President of the African has carried out major reforms with a 5.76% shareholding. Development Bank (AfDB), giving to refocus the AfDB’s agenda on Once established, the AfDB was him five more years at the helm regional economic integration, the first financial institution to of the continent’s development private sector, infrastructure, support the PTA Bank in various bank. governance, and a special ways; including. Technical initiative for post conflict Assistance grants, long-term Unlike five years ago when countries and fragile states. lines of credit and co-financing. he faced stiff completion, AfDB is a significant financier to this time Dr Kaberuka, In 2009, the Bank’s project and the PTA Bank, cumulatively, AfDB contestedunopposed. He , was programme approvals, more has given the Bank loans worth re-elected yesterday ( Thursday than doubled to $12 billion more than USD 102 million. 27t May) during the ongoing compared to $5.4 billion in 2008. annual meetings of the AfBD Funds availed under AfDB’s lines Board of Governors in the Ivorian In a related development, of credit are earmarked for viable capital, Abidjan. Governors of the Bank on private sector projects in the Thursday also approved tripling manufacturing, industry, tourism, Addressing a press briefing of the Bank’s capital resources agri-business, mining, energy shortly after his re-election, to nearly $100 billion, signaling and infrastructure sectors as well President Kaberuka said he strong confidence in the bank’s as for enterprises which provide would focus on accelerating management. support services to industry and economic integration of the export generation continent, which is still largely This substantial increase allows viewed through the prism of the AfDB to sustain a higher Dr Kaberuka attended and natural resources. level of lending - even to the addressed the 13th COMESA private sector - in response to Summit of Heads of State and “Africa is still viewed as the overwhelming demand in all Government that took place in continent to supply oil, minerals countries. Victoria Falls Zimbabwe in June and other raw materials. During 2009. He is also expected at the my second term of office we The COMESA Secretary General 14th Summit to be held in the shall deploy all the talent and Mr Sindiso Ngwenya described Kingdom of Swaziland in August energies to accelerate economic Dr Kaberuka’s re-election as an 2010 www.comesa.int
  8. 8. Information Exchange to enrich COMESA region T he COMESA Food and in each Member State to network Mr. Barasa appealed to them to 8 Agricultural Marketing with other stakeholders like traders, come up with a directory of SPS Information System (FAMIS) commodity exchange experts experts who are dependable and will has been commended for providing among others to ensure that up-to- regularly provide data. The experts useful information to traders in the date information is gathered and were introduced to the newly COMESA region. This was said by uploaded on the site. developed SPS discussion forum Mr. Kenneth Ayuko, Senior Assistant The training which was held on 25- for their use. This discussion forum Director of Agriculture, Policy 26 May 2010, brought together SPS is a tool that will enable the SPS Coordination and External Relations, experts dealing with animal health, Experts to regularly communicate Ministry of Agriculture of the plant protection and food safety and network among themselves. It Republic of Kenya, when he officially trade requirements and regulations, will allow them to share information opened the Sanitary and Phyto- to discuss how best to populate and experiences, and to develop Sanitary (SPS) training on the use of FAMIS with SPS data and information informed positions on different FAMIS in Nairobi, Kenya. useful for FAMIS users. SPS issues at national, regional and international levels. Mr. Ayuko called on Member States Addressing the delegates, Mr. to continuously provide information Thomas Barasa, COMESA-AMRIP The meeting resolved that a list of on the website which can be Project Manager, informed the SPS experts who will work with the accessed by the public and can meeting that SPS has the potential of COMESA Secretariat needs to be ultimately promote trade in goods impacting on internal and external generated. This will ensure the FAMIS and services within the region. The COMESA trade. Mr Barasa called on SPS pillar is uploaded with updated information on the website, he the SPS experts to come together information. It was unanimously said, helps traders make informed and ensure that SPS measures agreed that each Member State decisions and expand their scope of are applied not only in protecting should upload preliminary SPS data trade. human, plant and animal health, but on the site within two weeks. to promote regional trade as well. COMESA developed FAMIS under the Mr. Ayuko however lamented that On food security, Mr. Barasa said Agricultural Marketing Promotion whereas the COMESA region boasts that despite COMESA having and Regional Integration Project of more than 480 million inhabitants, good ecological diversity, if SPS (AMPRIP), in order to fill the gap in the region still remains poor. “The measures become a hindrance in agricultural data and information only way to stem food insecurity food movement, then Member that could help to improve and lower levels of poverty is by States of the COMESA region might agricultural trade in the region. promoting trade and regional continue suffering from regional FAMIS is a COMESA web-based integration” Mr. Ayuko said. food insecurity through hunger and system whose purpose is to facilitate famine. agricultural trade by providing Mr. Ayuko additionally noted that relevant data and information from the HIV scourge has continuously Mr. Barasa noted with concern the public and private sectors. Since devastated the population in the that as a project, FAMIS has had inception in 2007, the system has region, affecting the labour force. challenges on getting updated been populated with data and “Those expected to be working in data on SPS issues leading to an information related to food security, the fields to produce agricultural information gap. “The SPS pillar is sanitary and phytosanitary measures, produce are being wiped out. This not adequately populated with market related data and information also affects the consumption of information and yet traders need to with the support from COMESA the agricultural products since the know what are the SPS regulations Secretariat and COMESA Member number of consumers is slowly and other measures. This information States. decreasing”. is supposed to be placed on the The website can be found at http:// Mr. Ayuko challenged focal points website for easy access,” he said. famis.comesa.int www.comesa.int

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