Meeting of the 7th                                  COMESA to Exhibit
    Sub-committee on
2   Standardization            ...
COMESA/CAADPGuidelines and Standards – LEGS.”
  “Livestock Emergency
                       Partners launch book:
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080 E Comesa Newsletter 208


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* On June 7th COMESA Launched Its Customs Union. Is the COMESA Customs Union Economically Viable?
* COMESA to Exhibit at CAADP Day in Libya
* Meeting of the 7th Sub-committee on Standardization
* COMESA/CAADP Partners launch book: “Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards – LEGS.”

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080 E Comesa Newsletter 208

  1. 1. newsletter 1 Issue #208 - Friday 19 October 2007 Issue #126 26th June 2009 newsletter On June 7th COMESA Launched Its Customs Union. is the COMESA Customs Union Economically Viable? I n order to justifiably respond to such a loaded question, one needs to first assess the rationale or raison d’etre of the COMESA Customs Union (CCU). What are COMESA’s basic objectives in the formation of such a union? What does COMESA expect the resultant customs union will be? Firstly, a CCU will result in enhanced flow of goods and services in the region as producers take advantage of larger markets to market and sell their goods. This will lead to greater intra regional trade as CCU producers a mould and doing so regionally notwithstanding, political maintain a price advantage for their has greater advantage than doing coordination is cardinal in ensuring regionally produced goods over so unilaterally. Linked to this, that a customs union is economically those from third countries. Secondly, and the fact that the region has viable. But first a side point on the CCU will lead to harmonization lagged behind in the value chain gestation of the entire process. of taxes on production inputs in and remains a net importer of When we look at the history of the order to level the regional playing value added products, has huge European Union, we note that the field and enhance efficiency in implications on the potential welfare timeline of this process was from the production and competitiveness. of COMESA Member States. The signing of the Paris Treaty in 1951 to Thirdly the CCU will inevitably CCU has the potential to unlock the Maastricht Treaty in 1993 which require and lead to common policy these opportunities in value was the basis of the present day EU, formulation in order to provide addition as it provides a necessary 42 years elapsed. The point ought positive coordination mechanism environment for unlocking regional not to be lost that achievement of and a positive signal to the investment and concomitant coordination is a function of time as investment community. trade opportunities. Common national constituents are brought economic objectives can further be on board to endorse regional Viability is contingent on political adduced from the recent thrust for integration and indeed deeper coordination and common economic infrastructure development as a key integration processes. COMESA is no objectives. Commencing with the supply side component to enhanced exception as its Member States have latter point, COMESA Member trade efficiency. This thrust has a been perfecting the tenets of the States have similar trade profiles direct implication on reduction COMESA Treaty from the founding i.e. large and almost universal of the costs of doing business days of the precursor Preferential dependence on few commodities regionally and internationally. Free Trade Area. The formation of which are raw materials. This gives the Free Trade Area (FTA) in 2000 impetus for breaking out of such The economic objectives was a significant milestone in this to page 3 This bulletin is published by the COMESA Secretariat Public Relations Unit but does not necessarily represent views of the Secretariat. Contact Address : COMESA SECRETARIAT, COMESA Center , Ben Bella Road P.O. Box 30015, 260 1 229 725, 260 1 225 107,
  2. 2. Meeting of the 7th COMESA to Exhibit Sub-committee on 2 Standardization at AU/CAADP Day T he seventh meeting in Libya of the sub- The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) committee on will exhibit at the CAADP Day to be held on 27th June in Sirte, Standardization Libya. This will be at the margins of the African Union Heads of State was held on and Government Summit. 23rd June 2009 at COMESA The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme Secretariat. The (CAADP) Day program will provide an opportunity for the African meeting was Union Member States to get informed about the latest progress on opened by Director of Invesmnet Pormotion and Private Sector Development (IPPSD) at CAADP taking into consideration the financial resources available in the COMESA Secretariat Dr Chungu Mwila.(in Africa. picture) On the day of CAADP, the AUC has planned to organize a stand Dr Mwila emphasized the important role of exhibition (sideshow) to reflect African activities on Agricultural the Standards in the facilitation of trade in the projects and to highlight the status of development in general. The region. He went on to ay that in June this year, exhibition is meant to be simple and would compose of information COMESA launched a Customs Union and kits, pamphlets, photos, charts, diagrams, booklets, journals and he therefore expressed the need to develop newsletters which could be for show or could also be distributed to more standards so that they contribute to the visitors. attainment of the objectives of the Customs Union. Agriculture has long been identified as a key requirement for any region to realize economic growth. Yet Africa’s Agricultural sector, The Director also informed the delegates that in its current state, requires to be developed to an adequate and in the last few years, the activity relating to efficient standard. Agriculture must be integrated and connected to harminisation of standards had been slow. The other key sectors e.g. infrastructure therefore making it easier for main reason being that the member States had Africa to meet its goals on poverty reduction, economic and social wanted the region to develop a mechanism for implementation of COMESA harmonized development. standards. Agriculture covers various sectors all of which contribute positively In this respect, COMESA has proposed a to economic development. The Summit will specifically focus on the Mechanism which was deliberated upon in options for Africa’s Agriculture. November 2008. He therefore hoped that during this meeting of the sub-committee, The African Union Commission (AUC), responsible for coordinating, the mechanism would be adopted so that it harmonizing and providing leadership in the continent’s economic could be sent to the Council of Ministers for and social development and physical integration , seeks to adoption. put Agriculture in the rightful place within Africa’s economic development agenda by dedicating the theme of the July 2009 Dr Mwila assured the sub-committee of the Summit of the African Union Heads of State Government to Secretariat’s commitment to facilitate its (sub- Agriculture. committee) work.
  3. 3. COMESA/CAADPGuidelines and Standards – LEGS.” “Livestock Emergency Partners launch book: 3 Livestock plays a crucial part in the livelihoods of large numbers of people throughout the world. When humanitarian emergencies arise, rapid assistance is needed to protect and rebuild livestock assets of affected communities. The Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS) are a set of international guidelines and standards for the design, implementation and assessment of livestock interventions to assist people affected by humanitarian crises. LEGS expands the commitment in the Sphere handbook - the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response – to more effectively support livestock livelihood assets, by presenting clear and practical options for during and following disasters. LEGS provides guidance on the identification of appropriate livestock responses, followed by detailed information on a number of interventions, namely: destocking, veterinary services, the provision of feed, the provision of water, livestock shelter and settlement, and restocking. Each technical chapter in LEGS contains minimum standards, key indicators, and guidance notes, together with decision-making tools and a discussion of key cross-cutting issues. The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is mandated to facilitate the implementation of the Comprehensive African Agricultural Programme (CAADP) both at the member state (national) and regional levels. Pillar III of the CAADP framework is about increasing food supply, reducing hunger and improving responses to food emergency crisis. The pillar focuses on the chronically food- insecure, and on populations that are vulnerable to and affected by various crises and emergencies. This guideline and standard makes significant contribution to the achievement of CAADP Pillar III objectives by enhancing the capacity of managing emergency responses in order to save lives and livelihoods. LEGS can be also downloaded free of charge web: On June 7th COMESA Launched Its Customs Union.... from page 1 process. Despite the fact that four performed well over the years and infrastructure, and will support out of the 19 Member States have new ones have got off to a strong countries that experience adjustment not yet acceded to it, the process is a start; namely: the PTA Bank, the difficulties due to the formation of success when viewed from a gradual Clearing House, the Re-insurance the customs union. These institutions and realistic integration process Agency, the African Trade Insurance will provide the required flanking perspective. Intra-COMESA trade has Agency (ATI), and the COMESA Fund. measures to support the customs increased five-fold from $3 billion in The PTA Bank has continued to lend union and assist ensure equitable 1997 to about %15 billion in 2008. to the private sector even amidst the benefits for all member states. Projections are that the trade will current financial crisis; and the ATI increase more rapidly under the provided important cover for non- Is a COMESA Customs Union customs union. Coordination is a commercial risks that have rescued economically viable? Yes it is! But key tenet of all COMESA programs enterprises from damage and loss over and above the fundamentals of as evidenced by the fact that resulting from political turmoil and political coordination and common successive COMESA Summits have terrorism. The Clearing House will economic objectives, it requires time; demonstrated the requisite will to now be a regional correspondent and the transition period agreed of 3 coordinate integration in the region. bank, reducing the time and cost for years, should be effectively applied cross-border payments. The COMESA to building and consolidating the The institutions of COMESA have Fund will assist build regional customs union.