Comesa Summit appoints Ngwenya successor

Comesa Summit appoints Ngwenya successor
Published: 20 June 2018
DELEGATES to the 20th Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Heads of States and Government Summit will appoint a new secretary general to the regional trading body next month to take over from Mr Sindiso Ngwenya whose tenure of office is coming to an end.

Mr Ngwenya, a Zimbabwean national with vast expertise in economics and transportation, has been at the helm of the regional economic bloc since 2008 and is the 5th secretary general of Comesa after its transformation from the Preferential Trade Area in 1994.

This year's Comesa Summit will take place in Lusaka, Zambia on 18 – 19 July 2018 following a change of venue from an earlier schedule in Burundi mid-June.

It will be preceded by meetings of ministers and technical officials starting from July 9, 2018.

"The Summit is also expected to appoint a new secretary general of Comesa to take over from Mr Sindiso Ngwenya whose tenure of office is coming to an end," head of corporate communications at Comesa, Mr Mwangi Gakunga, said yesterday.

"The theme for this year Summit is: 'Comesa: Towards Digital Economic Integration' and is designed to rally member States towards the full adoption of digital technologies to reduce the disparities in the state of digitisation across sectors in the Comesa region."

"Specifically, it is intended to address disparities between high-tech and more traditional areas, and between Comesa countries and regions."

Delegations from the 19-member regional economic bloc are expected to start arriving in Lusaka beginning July 7, 2018.

"Among the key issues in this year's Summit Agenda is the consideration of membership to Comesa by Tunisia and Somalia.

"Negotiations for the admission of the two states have been concluded and what remains is the endorsement by the Comesa Council of Ministers and subsequent approval by the Heads of State Assembly.

"This will raise the number of Comesa States from the current 19 to 21," said Mr Gakunga in a statement.

He said the Intergovernmental Committee (IC), which comprises of permanent/principal secretaries will be the curtain raiser to the 10-day Comesa annual event and will take three days 9 – 11 July 2018.

The IC is responsible for the development of programmes and action plans in all fields of co-operation except in the finance and monetary sector.

"It will review progress reports presented by various sectoral committees and Comesa institutions and make recommendations to the Council of Ministers for decision making," Mr Gakunga said.

The Council of Ministers will meet on 13 -14 July 2018 to make decisions on various recommendations presented by the Intergovernmental Committee on the way forward on implementation of Comesa integration programmes.
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