Secretary General of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Chileshe Mpundu Kapwepwe said that President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s policies helped promote community’s ability to face regional and international challenges in Africa.
The COMESA secretary general said that President Sisi adopted effective polices in the economic community in Africa to enhance regional integration focusing on promoting the private sector’s role, along with boosting the COMESA countries’ capabilities to face international challenges, topped by COVID-19 pandemic and energy price rise, promoting regional supply chains among the 21 member countries of COMESA and maximizing industrial integration.
During Egypt’s presidency of COMESA, President Sisi promotes coordination and integration between the three major African entities; COMESA, the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), via applying certain measures to urge member states to implement customs duty exemptions, facilitate trade exchange among them in spite of the international challenges, topped by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kapwepwe further noted.
She added that the COMESA countries will continue to build on the achievements made during Egypt’s presidency of the community, lauding Egypt’s support for efforts to launch the Great Continental Free Trade Area, which is the largest on the global level, with a population of 1.2 billion people and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of nearly dlrs 3.4 trillion, representing 3 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP).
Egypt also presented the regional industrial integration initiative within the framework of the COMESA Industrialization Strategy (2017-2026), which aims to deepen industrial production by linking regional value chains, she said.
Egypt’s vision towards regional industrial integration is consistent with the COMESA Industrialization Strategy (2017-2026) and the African Development Agenda 2063, she added.
Egypt attached great attention to promoting African integration within the framework of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area that was launched in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheik by 26 African states on June 10, 2015.
She also lauded the results of the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 27) that was held in Sharm El-Sheikh in November 2022.
The 21 member States of COMESA are: Egypt, Burundi, the Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Sudan, Swaziland, Seychelles, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.