COMESA , EAC and SADC to form a Single

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					Issue #228 -20th November2007

  Issue #126 Friday 19 October 2009

 COMESA , EAC and SADC to form a Single
       Free Trade Area by 2012
          hen the Heads of State and
          Government of COMESA,
          EAC and SADC met in Kam-
pala, Uganda on 22 October 2008,
they conveyed in their communi-
                                                        way forward with establishing the
                                                        single FTA.
                                                                                  tion and coordination of industrial
                                                                                  and health standards, combating
                                                            The main document is the draft
                                                                                  of unfair trade practices and import
                                                        Agreement establishing the Tripar-
                                                                                  surges, use of peaceful and agreed
                                                        tite Free Trade, with its 14 Annexes
                                                                                  dispute settlement mechanisms,
                                                                                                                                               e                        1

qué a palpable sense of urgency in                                                use of simpler and straightforward
                                                        covering various complementary
calling for the establishment of a                                                rules of origin that recognise inland
                                                        areas that are necessary for effective
single Free Trade Area covering the                                               transport costs as part of the value
                                                        functioning of a regional market.
26 countries of COMESA, EAC and                         There is a report explaining the ap-
                                                                                  added in production, relaxation of
SADC. These are 26 out of the 54                                                  restrictions on movement of busi-
                                                        proach and the modalities. The main
countries that make up the conti-                                                 ness persons taking into account
                                                        proposal is to establish the FTA on
nent of Africa. The political leaders                                             certain sensitivities, liberalisation of
                                                        a tariff-free, quota-free, exemption-
                                                                                          certain priority service sec-
                                                                                          tors on the basis of existing
                                                                                          programs of the three organi-
                                                                                          sations, promotion of value
                                                                                          addition and transformation
                                                                                          of the region into an informa-
                                                                                          tion and knowledge-based
                                                                                          economy through a balanced
                                                                                          used of intellectual property
                                                                                          rights and information and
                                                                                          communications technology,
                                                                                          development of the cultural
                                                                                          industries on the basis of
  COMESA SG Mr. Sindiso Ngewnya, EAC SG Amb. Juma Mwapachu and SADC SG Dr. Tomaz the rich cultural heritage in
                                        Salomão                                         the region particularly in the
requested the secretariats of the        free basis by simply combining the             arts, development of sector
three organisations to prepare all       existing FTAs of COMESA, EAC and         strategies to increase productive
the legal documents necessary for        SADC. It is expected that by 2012, all   capacity and link producers to buy-
establishing the single Free Trade       these FTAs will not have any exemp-      ers and consumers. The Tripartite
Area (FTA) and to clearly identify       tions or sensitive lists. However, there FTA will be underpinned by robust
the steps required. After a period of    is a possibility that a few countries    infrastructure programs designed
intensive work since then, the three     might wish to consider maintaining       to consolidate the regional market
secretariats have delivered. At their    a few sensitive products in trading      through interconnectivity (facilitated
meeting on 9 November 2009 in Dar        with some big partners, and for this     for instance by all modes of trans-
es Salaam, Tanzania, the Chief Execu- reason, provision has been made for         port and telecommunications) and
tives of the three secretariats cleared  the possibility of a country request-    to promote competitiveness (for
the documents for transmission to        ing for permission to maintain some      instance through adequate supplies
the Member States for consideration      sensitive products for a specified       of energy).
in preparing for the next meeting of     period of time.                              Regarding the steps required, or
the Tripartite Summit. It is expected        To have an effective Tripartite FTA, the road map, the proposal is that
that when the Tripartite Summit          various complementary areas have         there should be a preparatory period
meets, in April or May 2010, the         been included. The FTA will cover,       for consultations at the national,
Heads of State and Government will       promotion of customs cooperation
clearly pronounce themselves on the and trade facilitation, harmonisa-                         Continued on page 3 ....
                       This bulletin is published by the COMESA Secretariat Public Relations Unit but does not necessarily represent views of the Secretariat.
                                                              Contact Address : COMESA SECRETARIAT, COMESA Center , Ben Bella Road           
                                                                           P.O. Box 30015, 260 1 229 725, 260 1 225 107
                  ECOWAS - COMESA to Enhance Cooperation

            delegation from the Economic       Community, it was noted by both sides      ing that its membership is open to all
2           Community of West African          that the capacity to reach such a vision   AU Member States, as well as the re-
            States (ECOWAS) Commis-            lies in the development and promotion      cently launched Regional Payment and
    sion paid COMESA Secretariat a visit       of the private sector. In this regard,     Settlement System. He pointed out that
    this week, 16 – 18 November 2009,          COMESA and ECOWAS highlighted              the COMESA Reinsurance Company,
    to exchange views on private sector        the need to conclude a memorandum          ZEP-Re, is already doing business in
    development and regional integration,      of understanding in areas of mutual        some West African countries.
    to share lessons and experiences, and      cooperation, particularly in promot-           At the end of the visit, an Aide
    to explore possibilities of future col-    ing regional integration with the main     Memoire was signed between the two
    laboration between the two Regional        focus on private sector development        sides sealing a commitment to collabo-
                                                                                          rate in areas identified during the visit
                                                                                          to enhancing private sector develop-
                                                                                          ment and overall regional integration.
                                                                                          The COMESA Director for Trade,
                                                                                          Customs and Monetary Affairs, Mr..
                                                                                          Francis Mangeni, signed on behalf of
                                                                                          the COMESA Secretariat, while Mr.
                                                                                          Alfred Braimah signed on behalf of the
                                                                                          ECOWAS Commission.
                                                                                              Meanwhile, COMESA has learnt
                                                                                          with pleasure the appointment of the
                                                                                          President of ECOWAS Commission,
                                                                                          Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas as the
                                                                                          new Secretary General of the African,
                                                                                          Caribbean and Pacific Group of Coun-
        COMESA Secretary General Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya and some Senior staff hold           tries based in Brussels. Mr. Chambas
                        discussions with ECOWAS delegation                                was on Tuesday, 17 November unani-
                                                                                          mously appointed during the Organisa-
    Economic Communities (RECs). The           as an engine of social and economic
                                                                                          tion’s 90th session of the Council of
    visit was initiated by the ECOWAS          prosperity. Emphasis was placed on
    Private Sector Directorate in con-         the need for strong inter-REC collabo-
                                                                                                                      The Ghanian
    junction with the Regional Technical       ration between the COMESA Business
                                                                                                                      born Dr.
    Office of the Programme for Building       Council and the ECOWAS Business
                                                                                                                      Chambas will
    Africa’s Capacity to Trade (PACT) II       Council.
                                                                                                                      succeed Sir
    based in Abuja, Nigeria. The ECOW-             During the meetings, the two sides
                                                                                                                      John Kaputin
    AS delegation was headed by Mr.            identified strategic areas in which the
                                                                                                                      from Papua
    Alfred Braimah, Director of Private        two RECs could collaborate, such as
                                                                                                                      New Guinea
    Sector Development at the ECOWAS           strengthening of the Regional Business
                                                                                                                      who has
    Commission. Others in his delega-          Councils, Women in Business, Agri-
                                                                                                                      been in the
    tion were Mr. Enobong Umoessien,           cultural Development and Food Se-              Dr. M. I. Chambas
                                                                                                                    position for the
    Principal Programme Officer- Busi-         curity, Trading for Peace, Customs Is-
                                                                                          past five years. Mr. Chambas assumes
    ness and Enterprise Development, Mr.       sues, the Common External Tariff and
                                                                                          office on 1 March next year.
    Peter Oluonye, Principal Programme         Free Trade Areas, Monetary Affairs,
                                                                                              According to the COMESA Sec-
    Officer- Investment and Promotion          Information Systems, ASYCUDA,
                                                                                          retary General Sindiso Ngwenya, the
    Services, and Mr. Philippe Tokpanou,       and Common Investment Areas. The
                                                                                          appointment of Dr. Chambas, who
    Regional Technical Advisor – PACT          two sides discussed the performance
                                                                                          has been President of ECOWAS, will
    II ECOWAS. The delegation was              of COMESA financial Institutions
                                                                                          make it easier for RECs in Africa to
    received by the COMESA Secretary           namely, COMESA Clearing House, the
                                                                                          work with the ACP Secretariat since
    General, Mr Sindiso Ngwenya and            PTA Bank, the Africa Trade Insurance
                                                                                          the RECs will be dealing with “one of
    held a series of plenary and bilateral     Agency, and COMESA Reinsurance
                                                                                          their own”. “The appointment of Dr.
    meetings with the technical staff at the   Company (ZEP-Re) among others.
                                                                                          Chambas heralds a new era of coop-
    COMESA Secretariat.                            Secretary General Ngwenya in-
                                                                                          eration between Regional Economic
        In the context of attaining a new      formed the ECOWAS delegation that a
                                                                                          Communities and the ACP”, said Mr
    dynamic to unleash Africa’s massive        number of COMESA institutions and
                                                                                          Ngwenya. Secretary General Ngwenya
    potential and leading to the realization   instruments have been deliberately de-
                                                                                          has since sent a message to Dr. Cham-
    of the African Economic Community,         signed to have a continental scope. He
                                                                                          bas congratulating him on his appoint-
    as envisaged by the Abuja Treaty           singled out the Africa Trade Insurance
    establishing the African Economic          Agency (ATI) as such institution not-
          Zimbabwe elected Chair of the COMESA Committee of
                     Permanent Representatives

        he COMESA Committee of
        Permanent Representatives
        meeting in Lusaka, Zambia
on Wednesday 18th November,
elected Zimbabwe Ambassador
to Zambia and Permanent Repre-
sentative to COMESA Lovemore
Mazemo as their chairperson for
the year 2009/2010.
    Kenya’s High Commissioner
to Zambia Lazarus Amayo, who
is also a Permanent Representa-
tive to COMESA, was elected as
the Vice Chair. The election of
Zimbabwe to the Chair is meant
                                                        Permanent Representatives to COMESA meeting in Lusaka
to align the activities of Permanent
Representatives with the actual            policy organs; it is also the chair of       The committee also discussed
policy organs Bureau; Zimbabwe is          the Peace and Security Committee.         progress in activities related to
the current Chair of the COMESA               To facilitate their work the Per-      the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripar-
Authority. The Kingdom of Swa-             manent Representatives elected            tite arrangement, including Joint
ziland that hold the Vice Chair            the COMESA Secretariat as their           Infrastructure Programmes, and
has no mission in Zambia, thus             rapporteur.                               the COMESA-EAC-SADC pro-
the election of Kenya to the Vice             The committee was briefed on           posed Tripartite Free Trade Area,
Chair. Kenya, that held Chair-             the upcoming COMESA policy                or “Grand FTA” as it is commonly
manship from May 2007 to June              organs meetings scheduled to take         referred to. (A full story on the
this year, is the rapporteur to the        place from 30th November to 8th           “Grand FTA” is on page 1)
COMESA Authority and other                 December 2009.

 COMESA , EAC and SADC to form a Single Free Trade Area by 2012
...Contiued from page 1                    posed that once this process ends,        by the free trade area initiatives of
regional and Tripartite level from         the Tripartite FTA should be launched     the three organizations. Strong trade
early 2010 up to June 2011. Member         in January 2012. Throughout the           performance, when well designed,
States will use this period to carefully   preparatory period, strong sensitisa-     for instance by promoting small
work out the legal and institutional       tion programs will be mounted for         and medium scale enterprises that
framework for the single FTA using         the public and private sectors and all    produce goods or services, can assist
the draft documents as a basis. It is      stakeholders including parliamentar-      the achievement of the core objec-
expected that each organisation will       ians, business community, teaching        tives of eradicating poverty and
discuss the Tripartite documents,          institutions, civil society, and devel-   hunger, promoting social justice and
and that the Tripartite meetings at        opment partners.                          public health, and supporting all
various levels will deliberate and             The main benefit of the Tripartite    round human development. Be-
reach concrete recommendations.            FTA is that it will be a much larger      sides, the Tripartite economic space
By June 2011, there should be a            market, with a single economic            will assist to address some current
finalised Agreement establishing the       space, than any one of the three          challenges resulting from multiple
Tripartite FTA, ready for signature        regional economic communities and         membership by advancing the ongo-
in July 2011. When signed, Member          as such will be more attractive to in-    ing harmonisation and coordination
States will have about six months up       vestment and large scale production.      initiatives of the three organisations
to December 2011, to finalise their        Estimates are that exports among          to achieve convergence of programs
domestic processes for approving           the 26 Tripartite countries increased     and activities, and in this way will
the Agreement (for instance, ratifica-     from USD 7 billion in 2000 to USD         greatly contribute to the continental
tion) and for establishing the re-         27 billion in 2008, and imports grew      integration process. And as they say,
quired institutions and adopting the       from USD 9 billion in 2000 to USD 32      the more we trade with each other,
relevant customs and other docu-           billion in 2008. This phenomenal in-      the less likely we are to war; for our
mentation and instruments. It is pro-      crease was in large measure spurred       swords will be plowshares.
                         Africa Agrees to Improve Public
           orty-five African countries     by the African Development Bank         curement Reforms in Africa whose
           together with bilateral and     in partnership with COMESA,             theme is sustaining economic
           multilateral development        the West African Economic and           development and poverty reduc-
    institutions and other partners have   Monetary Union (WAEMU), the             tion. The States have agreed to
    agreed to strengthen, pursue and       African Capacity Building Foun-         preserve the gains achieved so far
    improve reforms of existing public     dation (ACBF), the Organization         in public procurement by defining
    procurement systems so as to make      for Economic Co-Operation and           autonomous financial mechanisms
    them better performing, efficient      Development (OECD) and the              necessary to guarantee reforms
    and transparent. The countries         World Bank (WB).                        sustainability.
    have also agreed to focus on insti-       Zimbabwe’s Minister of Re-               They will also promote equi-
    tutional capacity building in public   gional Integration and International    table participation of all stakehold-
    procurement of all players and on      Cooperation Mrs. Priscilla Misi-        ers, particularly the civil society
    systems of integrity, in order to      hairabwi-Mushonga represented           and the private sector by building
    strengthen good governance and         the Chair of the COMESA Council         their capacity. The issue of capac-
    public finance performance, and        of Ministers at the Forum. The          ity building featured prominently
    thereby achieve better quality of      Director of Legal and Institutional     during the forum as many del-
    services for the population and in     Affairs from the COMESA Sec-            egates agreed that it is crucial for
    turn reduce poverty.                   retariat, Mr Brian Chigawa, and         the development of the public
       This agreement was made at          Enhancing Procurement Reforms           procurement sector.
    the end of the two-day High Level      Capacity Project (EPRCP) Man-               The civil society and the pri-
    Forum on Public Procurement            ager, Mr Colas Ziki, also attended      vate sector were not left out and
    Reforms in Africa held in Tunis,       the Forum.                              the countries resolved to promote
    Tunisia, from 16 to 17 November           The Forum has since issued the       equitable participation in public
    2009. The Forum was organised          Tunis Declaration on Public Pro-                     .... Contiued on page 5

              First High Level Continental Meeting on Public
                       Procurement held in 10 years

            he African Development         In this context, we should centre       on public procurement issues and
            Bank (AfDB), on 16 No-         our efforts on managing better our      giving prominence to the issue
            vember 2009, gave a warm       resources, improving transparency       of public procurement which had
    welcome in Tunis to delegates to       and accountability, and renewing        great implications underpinning
    the first High Level Forum on Pub-     our efforts to fight corruption”. The   regional integration.
    lic Procurement Reforms in Africa      Forum would help Africa’s voice             Around 150 delegates compris-
    in 10 years. A similar meeting was     and priorities in strengthening         ing practitioners and experts on
    last held in 1998.                     public procurement and the fight        public procurement policies and
        The Forum was opened by the        against corruption and waste in         practices from Africa, as well as
    Tunisian Secretary of State, Ab-       Africa. “This is an opportunity to      representatives of international de-
    delhamid Triki who thanked the         debate the way forward on public        velopment organizations, bilateral
    AfDB and partners for organiz-         procurement reforms in Africa and       cooperation agencies and academia
    ing this event and said that public    to agree on the common agenda for       attended the Forum. During the
    procurement reforms were key to        improving country procurement           two days event, four major themes
    economic development and pover-        systems”, he said.                      were discussed, namely “Public
    ty reduction, mainly in the current       The Zimbabwean Minister of           Procurement reforms in Africa”,
    context of global economic crisis.     Regional Integration and Interna-       “Public Procurement as a tool for
        On the same line, AfDB Vice-       tional Cooperation, Priscilla Misi-     Economic Development”, “Pub-
    President, Aloysius Ordu, who          hairabwi-Mushonga, representing         lic Procurement capacity build-
    spoke on behalf of President           the Chairman of the COMESA              ing frameworks and pro-integrity
    Kaberuka, said that “the global        Council of Ministers, praised the       initiatives”, as well as “Public
    financial crisis brought more chal-    establishment of this platform to       Procurement reforms and regional
    lenges to the African continent.       hold focused policy discussions         economic integration”.
  Zimbabwe Committed to Signing CAADP Compact
        he Zimbabwean Government             before the start of the cropping season by     decline by as much as 50% by 2050
        has re-iterated its commitment to    reducing on draft power.                       due to climate change. It was therefore       5
        signing the AU/NEPAD/COMESA               He noted that a lot of evidence has       essential that climate change mitiga-
Comprehensive African Agriculture            been gathered from the field which             tion measures were put in place. One
Development Programme (CAADP) Na-            indicate that farmers practising conserva-     way of doing so was through conserva-
tional Compact before the end of the year.   tion agriculture obtained higher yields on     tion agriculture, as it had proven to be
    This assurance was given by the          their farms than those using conventional      resilient to effects of climate change.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of       methods of farming. He attributed the          For instance, consultations in fifteen of
Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation    gain in yields to timely planting, better      COMESA Member States, including
Development, Mr. Ngoni Masoka, when          moisture conservation and good manage-         Zimbabwe, had prioritised conservation
he officially closed a two-day workshop      ment practices, which included, among          agriculture, agro-forestry strategies and
on the CAADP Development Process             other things, accurate placement of fertil-    sustainable forestry management as the
and Conservation Agriculture held in the     izer and manure, correct plant population      most effective and relatively easier way
Zimbabwean capital city of Harare on 5 -     and improved weeding practices.                to practice interventions in order to build
6 November 2009.                                  The workshop was jointly organised        agricultural resilience. He pointed out
    The Permanent Secretary informed his     with the COMESA Secretariat, which had         that for this to succeed, there was need
audience, which comprised senior gov-        the dual task of providing technical sup-      for public-private partnerships, involving
ernment officials, representatives of the    port to the CAADP process and raising          the Government, agri-business, farmers,
private sector, civil society, NGOs and      the general awareness of the participants      civil society and NGOs.
development partners, such as the Food       to the adverse effects of climate change           A second workshop organised along
and Agriculture Organisation of the Unit-    and how it was impacting negatively on         similar lines aimed at achieving broader
ed Nations (FAO) and International Crops     agricultural production in Eastern and         coverage was held in Zimbabwe’s second
Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics     Southern Africa.                               largest city of Bulawayo from 9 to 10
(ICRISAT) that the aim of CAADP is to             Reading a statement on behalf of          November 2009.
accelerate growth and eliminate poverty      the Secretary General, the Director of
and malnutrition among African countries     Investment Promotion and Private Sec-
through the development of the agricul-
ture sector.
                                             tor Development, Mr. Chungu Mwila,
                                             noted the good progress that Zimbabwe
                                                                                                 Africa Agrees to
    He further said that since the major-    had made towards the finalisation of                Improve Public
ity of people in most African countries,     the Compact preparation process and
including Zimbabwe, still live on the        expressed the Secretariat’s commitment               Procurement
land, agriculture plays an important role    to assisting Zimbabwe to come-up with           Contiued from page 4...
in terms of employment creation, income      a sound CAADP with good investment
                                                                                            procurement by all stakeholders
generation and attainment of food secu-      programmes and projects.
rity.                                             He informed the workshop that the         and enhance the business environ-
    Regarding the CAADP Compact              CAADP was an AU/NEPAD Initiative               ment in order to promote access
preparation process, the Permanent Sec-      which COMESA was implementing in               by local small and medium size
retary informed the meeting that Zim-        all the nineteen (19) COMESA Member            enterprises.
babwe had progressed far in that it had      States. He said that the Programme was            At the same forum, the civil so-
appointed a National Focal Point and that    aimed at achieving an annual agricultural
a team of national consultants had already   growth rate of at least 6%, so as to be able
                                                                                            ciety resolved to contribute to the
completed the stock-taking exercise, the     to reduce extreme poverty and hunger           enhancement and effectiveness of
findings of which they were now sharing      by half by the year 2015. To achieve this      public expenditure by maintaining
with the various stakeholders, in order      target, the CAADP Initiative requires          proactive surveillance on efforts to
to obtain their inputs. He indicated that    African governments to allocate at least       fight against fraud and corruption.
this exercise would be completed within      10% of their annual budget to agriculture,
a few days’ time and that the whole
                                                                                               On its part, the African Devel-
                                             defined as crop production, fisheries,
process would be completed by the end        livestock and forestry. In addition, the       opment Bank agreed to support
of November. He was therefore optimistic     CAADP expects Member States to align           reforms and set up effective fund-
that the signing of the Zimbabwe CAADP       their national policies and investment         ing mechanisms and establish joint
Compact would be done prior to the con-      programmes to the CAADP principles             performance assessment tools for
clusion of this year, 2009.                  and targets.
                                                                                            monitoring public procurement
    On conservation agriculture, the              With regard to climate change, Mr.
Permanent Secretary said that it was a       Mwila informed the meeting that natural        national systems.
way of farming that “conserves, improves     calamities, such as floods and droughts,          The bank will also support the
and makes more efficient use of natural      caused by climate change had adversely         implementation of second genera-
resources through integrated manage-         affected agricultural output throughout        tion reforms through moderniza-
ment of available resources, combined        region and there was urgent need to ad-        tion of public procurement systems
with external resources.” He informed        dress them. He informed the meeting that
the meeting that conservation agriculture,   according to the Inter-governmental Panel
                                                                                            under the global framework of
such as pot-holing, ripping and direct       on Climate Change (IPPCC), agricultural        socio-economic and financial
seeding enables farmers to prepare land      productivity in some parts of Africa could     reforms of States.