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080 E Comesa Newsletter 219


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e-COMESA Newsletter, Issue No. 219.


* Highlights of the ESA-IO EC Lusaka Declaration
* Ngwenya Briefs Burundi’s coordinating Ministry
* Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) visits COMESA
* COMESA Court of Justice Holds Session in Lusaka
* Brainstorming Workshop on key issues of the Customs Union

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080 E Comesa Newsletter 219

  1. 1. newsletter 1 Issue #219 - Friday 19 October 2009 Issue #126 18th September 2007 newsletter Highlights of the ESA-IO EC Lusaka Declaration M inisters and National Authorising Officers of ACP member States of COMESA, EAC, IGAD and IOC, their chief executives, and high level Officials of the European Commission held a two-day high level meeting in Zambia’s capital Lusaka on 14th to 15th September, 2009. It was hosted by the COMESA Secretariat. At the end of the meeting a declaration that was named “ the Lusaka declaration” was made. The declaration was signed by Mr Stefano Manservisi, Director General DG Development European Commission on behalf of EC , and Eng. Mahboub Malim Executive Secretary of IGAD and Chair of the Inter-regional coordinating committee (IRCC). Mr Stefano Manservisi and Eng. Mahboub Malim exchanging the signed declarations IRCC is a coordination mechanism meeting further discussed peace and regional integration processes. put in place by the four partner democratic governance in the context organizations COMESA, EAC, IGAD and of the Joint Africa-European Union They agreed that Regional IOC. Strategy, the global economic and Organizations will intensify the financial crisis and food security. development and harmonization of Below are the highlights of the their Aid for Trade Strategies, ensure Declaration. As a way of moving forward, the coherence and alignment at national parties agreed on several issues. and regional levels to cover the The joint high-level meeting was held Firstly it was agreed that the ESA- wider Aid for Trade agenda. They also under the theme “Enhancing delivery IO region will continuously inform agreed to foster coordination and on the regional integration agenda in the cooperating partners on information sharing in the design the ESA-IO region”. progress to further strengthen the and implementation of programmes Tripartite process of rationalizing and so as to ensure coherence between Key issues harmonizing the regional integration the Africa Peace Facility and Regional The meeting discussed latest agenda, in accordance with its Indicative Programmes. developments on regional integration calendar. in the Eastern and Southern Africa and The meeting brought together high- the Indian Ocean (ESA-IO) region, and To strengthen coordination of support ranking officials from ACP countries more specifically concerning the use to regional integration, notably the involved in the regional integration of EC funding for regional integration. 10th EDF programmes and relevant and the various institutions: The The meeting considered how to programmes from the EC Budget, EU European Commission, COMESA, improve aid effectiveness in support Member States and other partners. the East African Community, IGAD, of regionally owned strategies. It That 10th EDF regional resources will IOC, SADC, the African Union, ACP also addressed the important theme also continue to support functional Secretariat as well as observers from of ensuring coherence between cooperation programmes that have other international organizations. (The regional and national policies. The direct and indirect impacts on the full Declaration can be found on www. 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. Ngwenya Briefs Burundi’s 2 coordinating Ministry The COMESA Secretary General Mr of the decision of the 1st Tripartite Secretariat. The two projects have Sindiso Ngwenya, last week traveled to Summit that took place in Kampala already been approved and Proinvest Bujumbura Burundi where he handed Uganda, in October 2008 related to is in the process of selecting experts over a Euro 4.4 Million adjustment the establishment of the Tripartite who will undertake the studies and its facility to Minister of Finance, Madam FTA – “Grand FTA” as he put it. He validation is scheduled by end of 2009. Clotilde Nizigama. During the same noted that consultancy work has visit, Secretary General Ngwenya took been done particularly towards the Also discussed are projects related the opportunity to pay a courtesy call harmonization on the Rules of Origin to the studies on financial services, to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry with SADC whose rules of origin are construction and telecommunication and Tourism, which coordinates different from COMESA and EAC. that have been submitted on behalf COMESA activities in the Republic He further brief the Minister on the of Burundi to TradeCom with the of Burundi where he held talks with Tripartite Council meeting scheduled support of the COMESA Secretariat, Hon. Euphrasie Bigirimana, Burundi’s for January 2010 and Summit in March these too, have been approved by the Minister of Commerce, Industry and 2010. TradeCom steering committee and Tourism. the process of selection of experts is Minister Bigirimana and Secretary ongoing. Validation is to be organized During the meeting, the COMESA General Ngwenya also discussed by end 2009. Secretary General briefed Minister projects which COMESA is supporting Bigirimana on progress being made Burundi in. These include the Lukuga The Minister requested for support under the COMESA-EAC-SADC Dam on Lake Tanganyika which is to establish standards in order to Tripartite arrangement. Mr Ngwenya being jointly implemented with improve the competitiveness of the said that much has been achieved EAC, and Burundi Free Port and Burundi products. The SG informed thanks to the political commitment industrialization master plan, which the Minister that the request could be to it. He updated the Minister on have been submitted to Proinvest addressed as COMESA has a project progress in the implementation with the support of the COMESA dealing with the issue in the region.
  3. 3. Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) visits COMESA 3 A group of legislators from Southern COMESA Secretary General Sindiso and therefore a clear application of Sudan yesterday (Thursday 17th Ngwenya, pointed out that The Sudan the COMESA trade instruments would September 2009) visited the COMESA was among the first countries to join contribute to the economic recovery of Secretariat with the view to identify the COMESA Free Trade Area ( FTA) and the region. how Southern Sudan can fully be therefore joined as the whole of the integrated into COMESA integration Sudan regardless the geographical The meeting also discussed way and agenda like the rest of the Sudan. location, and hence goods from means that can facilitate Southern COMESA Countries should be treated in Sudan’s participation in COMESA The group was led by Hon Ismail line with the COMESA regime. Referring meetings and activities with the view Mathews Muktar Chairperson Regional to the example given by Mr Muktar, Mr to ensure that the region is able to and International Committee SSLA. Ngwenya concurred that both Kenya appreciate special needs for this region They were received at COMESA by and the Sudan are Members of the that has been in war for more that 20 the COMESA Secretary General Mr COMESA Free Trade Area and the goods years. Some of the areas that need Sindiso Ngwenya, His two Assistant originating from either country should urgent attention include infrastructure Secretaries General Ambassador Nagla attract zero import duties. Uganda has development, agriculture, water, and El-Hussainy, ( Admn and Finance) and reduced tariffs for goods originating education. COMESA Secretary General Stephen Karangizi ( programmes) and from COMESA countries by 80% and promised to assist identify how a donor other senior COMESA secretariat staff. should therefore receive reciprocal conference could be organised to Also present was H.E Sabit Abbe Alley, treatment. Mr Ngwenya however address some of these problems Ambassador of the Republic of Sudan added that part of the problem could to Zambia who is also a member of the be that customs officer in the region At the same meeting Mr Colas Ziki, permanent representatives to COMESA have not yet received sufficient training manager COMESA Enhanced Public coupled by the fact that the Southern Procurement Reform project, who During the visit Mr Muktar, who is also Sudan customs have also not been had just come from a working visit to a business man bemoaned the fact computerized yet. He promised that the Southern Sudan revealed that he that Southern Sudan has not been the COMESA Secretariat will provide the was positively surprised at the peace integrated into COMESA trade regime, needed support. that is obtaining in Southern Sudan, he pointed out that for example goods particularly in Juba, the capital of imported from Uganda and Kenya According to the legislators , Kenya Southern Sudan, as opposed to the such as cement attract as much as and Uganda who are both COMESA general views given by the media, 40% duties, when under the COMASA member states are the biggest trading and noted that if such was corrected, regime they ought to attract no duty. partners with the Southern Sudan, investors could flock to the region.
  4. 4. COMESA Court of Justice Holds Session in Lusaka 4 T he COMESA Court of Justice improve the standard of the Court Instance Division is the Principal opened its 2009 session with and make it a leader in regional Judge. pomp and splendor in Lusaka justice both in providing quality on Monday 14th September 2009. justice and in its management,” The current Judges of the Court All the eight judges making up Justice Rugege added. come from 12 different Member the First Instance Division and the States of the Common Market. Appellate Court were in attendance. About the COMESA Court of Justice As is common with international Courts, the judges of the Court Principal Judge Honourable Justice The Court was established by the are supposed to be persons of Samuel Rugege opened the court COMESA Treaty in 1994 as one of impartiality, independence and session by urging member States to the organs of the Common Market. integrity, who also fulfill the pay up their contributions failure to The first judges of the Court were conditions required for the holding which the Court’s execution of cases appointed by the COMESA Authority of high judicial office in their will be frustrated. of Heads of State and Government in respective countries. 1998 and the Court opened its doors “The Court requires a budget that for the public in the subsequent Through its duty of ensuring the can enable it to function properly, I year, 1999. observance of the rule of law in its call upon member States to honour interpretation and application of their obligations in a timely and Currently, the Court is composed the COMESA Treaty, the Court has regular manner,” of twelve judges, five of whom an important role to play in the constitute the Appellate Division integration agenda of COMESA. “I also take this opportunity to and seven the First Instance Division. Since it began sitting in 2000, a request our cooperating partners to One of the Judges of the Appellate total number of 40 cases including support the Court in its attempts to Division is the President of the Court References and Preliminary while one of the Judges of the First Applications have been determined.
  5. 5. Brainstorming Workshop on key issues of the Customs Union 5 C OMESA launched its the significance in harmonizing CU should therefore use those gains Customs Union (CU) on 7th pertinent instruments such as the to reach higher heights of how to June 2009. Having launched Rules of Origin, and the need to be deal with sensitive products and the CU, the COMESA Council clear on how the EPA arrangements infant industries given the Common established the COMESA Committee will be operated during the CU. External Tariff and free circulation of on the Customs Union (CC - CU). goods within the CU. The tripartite process running The CC – CU held its first meeting between COMESA, EAC and SADC RECOMMENDATIONS from 7th to 10th September 2009. was acknowledged as a definite The workshop came up with several Considering that the CU was much positive avenue of convergence and recommendations which may be to do with trade, and that it involved appeal was consequently made that summarized as follows: Government revenues from extra the tripartite process should share COMESA trade, removal of Non its harmonized areas, including the Since COMESA was now a Customs Tariff Barriers (NTBs) and other trade harmonization under the Economic Union, it should actively participate facilitation initiatives, the COMESA Partnership Agreements (EPAs). in international negotiations such as Secretary General authorized that Improved Private Sector Participation the World Trade Organization and the first day of the session (7th The workshop was unanimous World Customs Organization as one September) be committed to a in accepting that the CU would body. brain storming session with all only be successful if the private stakeholders from both public sector took advantage of the Stakeholders should be sensitized and private sectors in the effort of various opportunities and benefits on the Customs Union and other identifying all the key issues that offered under the CU. To that effect COMESA programmes, and in so needed attention in order to have an the private sector welcomed its doing, the private sector should be efficacious CU. invitation to the workshop and closely involved so as to enable it suggested that its participation in take maximum advantage of the The brainstorming deliberations the key issues be institutionalised benefits offered. brought out several issues among to the extent that it should even which salient ones are summarized be holding meetings without COMESA should use the gains below as follows: participation of the public sector. made so far to protect infant There should be continuous industries in the CU, and develop Overlapping membership sensitization of the private sector on joint programmes in the new areas The phenomenon of COMESA the CU to enhance awareness on such as Common Copyright laws, Member States belonging to other available opportunities that increase Intellectual Property Right (IPR) regional Economic Communities Member States’ participation in the laws, policy and guidelines, MDGs (RECs) such as the AMU, CEN-SAD, internal market. oriented poverty reduction initiatives EAC, IGAD, IOC, SACU and SADC, such as Millennium villages, and presented Member States with Consolidation of Gains in the structured marketing of produce a big challenge of multiple and COMESA Internal Market especially in the agricultural sector potentially divergent procedures. The workshop noted that COMESA taking a leaf from the modus The workshop stressed the need has made a lot of gains since the operandi of the East African to synchronise developments in start of its integration agenda. The Grain Marketing Council (EAGC), the different RECs so as to avoid Region has, for instance, developed an Organization which markets having contradictory programmes. a system of identifying, reporting agricultural produce on behalf of The workshop noted, for instance, and resolving NTBs. COMESA small scale farmers.