News / Africa

Africa Group COMESA ‘Encouraged’ with Regional Trade Cooperation

Map of COMESA (World Bank)
Map of COMESA (World Bank)
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population 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.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid