News / Africa

Africa Group COMESA ‘Encouraged’ with Regional Trade Cooperation

Map of COMESA (World Bank)
Map of COMESA (World Bank)
Peter Clottey
A senior official at the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) says the organization is encouraged by an agreement between heads of state from Uganda, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Ethiopia to join the group’s free trade program, a decision taken at the just-concluded summit.  

The heads of state and government that attended the COMESA summit, which ended Thursday, in the DRC capital, Kinshasa, include Joseph Kabila, Michael Sata, Yoweri Museveni, Joyce Banda, Robert Mugabe, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir and Ismail Omar Guelleh.

Francis Mangeni, director for trade at COMESA, says the region’s relative peace and stability has led to a sharp increase in business activities, which he says could attract foreign investment.

“Peace and security in the region has improved and we are happy about that. Conflicts in Congo are almost resolved, the M23 has been defeated. So the security situation is very good and this is very important for investment,” says Mangeni.

Officials say the heads of state discussed the status of the implementation of the COMESA Free Trade Area and progress on the implementation of the COMESA Customs Union.                                                                                       

“The three countries that have agreed to join the COMESA Free Trade Area by December this year are Uganda, Ethiopia and Congo DR, the host country. Congo DR and Ethiopia are large economies so this is really good news for us,” says Mangeni.

“Overall we have got some good outcomes and we need to now implement these decisions over this year so by the time of the next summit, we will have something to report to the [leaders].”

Observers say implementation of agreements at such summits is often weak, despite proposed solutions to resolve problems the entire continent faces. Mangeni acknowledged Africa needs to do more to resolve its challenges.

He says the regional group has established a measure it calls “domestication” in a bid to ensure decisions and agreements signed at the Kinshasa summit are fully implemented.

“We have got clear pronouncement from heads of state…that this is a number one priority and they will make sure they will do everything possible at the national level in terms of enacting national laws, putting in place the required institutions and polices to ensure that what they have adopted at the COMESA level is translated into national laws and there are national institutions to implement them,” says Mangeni.

Some analysts say pockets of violence in Sudan, DRC, Somalia and other countries could undermine COMESA’s efforts to attract foreign investors.

But, Mangeni says the group has implemented mechanisms to help resolve the conflicts. He also says there is an upsurge in business activities.

“The message to investors is things are improving,” says Mangeni. “Business is booming in COMESA and the statistic that we like to cite is trade in goods has risen from $3.1 billion in the year 2000 to $19.3 billion at the moment. If you look at the trajectory, the rate of growth, the potential is really good for investors that come to Africa.”
Clottey interview with Francis Mangeni,Director for Trade at COMESA
Clottey interview with Francis Mangeni,Director for Trade at COMESA i
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid