The 18th Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Summit that has been held at African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia has ended.
During his closing remarks Ethiopia Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and incoming COMESA Chairman hailed member countries for their commitment to the security and development of the COMESA area.
He particularly commended members for approving COMESA Infrastructure Fund that was operationalized in 2014 which he said has hit 22million US Dollars adding that it will trigger rapid industrialization and reduce on member countries’ reliance on foreign lenders and development partners.
He called for dialogue within Africa’s countries that are affected by political differences saying disharmony retards progress on the continent, destroys infrastructure and lives of innocent people.
The Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi who represented Uganda at the Summit said that COMESA is emerging as a new block for trade and business which Uganda will benefit from to foster its industrialization efforts in value addition for its agricultural commodities.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, COMESA members agreed to establish a regional anti-illicit trade unit, to facilitate the implementation of the regional framework on anti-illicit trade.
Member countries called for collaboration between the public and private sector for joint action campaigns to raise awareness on legislative and enforcement measures to protect businesses and consumers.
They also agreed to promote public and private investment in the local production of specific drugs that have a strategic advantage for Africa and through diplomatic relations with the West lift economic sanctions imposed on Sudan and Zimbabwe.
Members also agreed was to develop a “MADE IN COMESA” label to support products from the 19 member countries to become more competitive across the region and promote consumer confidence.
The Vice President was accompanied to the summit by State Ministers for Regional Affairs, Philemon Mateke, for Trade, David Wakikona and for Finance Fred Omach.
Uganda’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Mull Katende and officials from Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development.