Monday, October 25, 2010

Eritrea Appoints a Permanent Representative to COMESA

The Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) announced that Ambassador of Eritrea to the Republic of Kenya, Salih Omar Abdu, presented credentials as his country’s Permanent Representative to COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya on Wednesday, 20th October 2010. This is the first time that the Republic of Eritrea, has appointed a Permanent Representative to COMESA.

Mr. Ngwenya warmly welcomed Ambassador Salih Omar Abdu to COMESA Secretariat, which he said was a home to all and to the entire COMESA region and its people and Governments.

He reiterated the role of COMESA Secretariat in serving member States “at COMESA Secretariat, we pride ourselves in being, hospitable, kind and helpful, energetic and fast, and in providing an excellent service to all stakeholders. We put exceptional priority to assisting the people of the region, particularly the ordinary people, to improve their living standards through better employment opportunities and incomes”, said Mr. Ngwenya.

Secretary General Ngwenya congratulated His Excellency and the Eritrean government for his appointment as a Permanent Representative to COMESA and to which he acknowledged Eritrea as an active Member State of COMESA.

Secretary General Ngwenya indicated some milestones achieved by Eritrea within the frame work of COMESA integration agenda. Some of those identified include: Eritrea’s export to COMESA region in 2008 amounted to $4,294,499 and Eritrea’s import from COMESA region was $ 4,521,232. Adding that the trade would be even much more if there was appropriate connectivity and therefore the reason why COMESA was considering a shipping line.

Regarding the COMESA Programme on Trade facilitation, Mr Ngwenya pointed out that Eritrea has fully implemented the Yellow Card Scheme, adding that Eritrea realized a high performance of 75% in regards to the implementation of road transport facilitation programmes, and actively participates in the Food and Agricultural Marketing Information System (FAMIS) activities and has benefited from the training of data collection consultants and FAMIS administrators just to mention a few..

Mr Ngwenya further said that Eritrea fully recognizes the COMESA Laissez Passer and Agreement on Privileges thereby facilitating the implementation of COMESA Programmes and activities in the Eritrean territory and looked forward to working with the new Permanent representative in consolidating these achievements and assist Eritrea to fully benefit from COMESA programmes.

Presenting his credentials, Ambassador Salih Omar Abdu said that his appointment is a sign of Eritrea’s commitment to the implementation of the COMESA agenda, adding that although Eritrea was not yet a member of the COMESA Free Trade Area (FTA), she had reduced tariff on COMESA originating goods by 80 per cent, and that it was his hope that Eritrea will remove the remaining 20 per cent soon and work with other members of the FTA.

Mr Salih Omar Abdu further noted that COMESA as an institution has various co-operations with other organizations within the region and outside the region like JAPAN, EU, USA etc. which form an essential external environment for regional development and stability.

He retaliated the commitment of Eritrea as an active member of COMESA as evidenced by the COMESA Secretary General’s recent visit to Eritrea where he met President Isaias Afwerki , Government officials and various stakeholders.

Source: COMESA