Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kagame, COMESA SG Discuss Regional Issues

by Edmund Kagire, The New Times, 30 June 2010

President Paul Kagame yesterday hosted, at Urugwiro Village, the Secretary General of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Sindiso Ngwenya, where they discussed several issues concerning the regional economic bloc.

Ngwenya who was in the country to deliver a formal invitation to President Kagame from Swaziland's King Mswati to attend the COMESA 2010 Summit in Mbabane, told the press that his talks with the President centred mainly on the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite.

The tripartite pact is a common market between 26 countries that fall within the three economic blocs; COMESA, the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

"I am here to deliver a formal invitation to the President from King Mswati for the 2010 COMESA Summit and we also discussed about the theme of the summit which will take place in Mbabane, Swaziland and will be preceded by the council of ministers meeting and the trade fair which coincides with the summit,"

"The theme of the summit, which will take place between August 29 September 1, is harnessing size and technology for development,t and it will also be preceded by a business forum," Ngwenya said.

Ngwenya is also in the country to attend the COMESA fund ministerial meeting that begins today.

"We reviewed the implementation of COMESA programmes, particularly relating the meeting in which Rwanda is taking over chairmanship from the Republic of Mauritius,"

He added that the Kigali meeting will mainly look at the amendments to the current COMESA adjustment facility, which enables member countries, when they liberalise their trade, to be compensated for regional losses.

Last year Rwandan received over 11m Euros in form of compensation under the facility as did other regional states.