Lusaka, Friday, February 3, 2017: COMESA and the Chinese Overseas Infrastructure Development and Investment Corporation (COIDIC) have finalized negotiations for a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) on infrastructure development in the COMESA region.

This followed a visit to the COMESA Secretariat by the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of COIDIC Mr Nicholas Mitsosi and his team on Friday 3rd February 2017. Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya led the COMESA team in the talks that centered on collaboration in the development of infrastructure in the 19-member economic bloc.

“We have agreed on a formal signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation in April this year,” Mr Ngwenya said.

The MoC is expected to cover all infrastructure projects go between Member States and individual countries such as roads, rail, Information and Communications Technologies and energy among others.

Lack of bankable projects in the region was named as a major challenge in the region to which Mr. Ngwenya observed that time had come for the private sector to play a key role in infrastructure development.

“There is need to make a difference by co-opting the private sector into the projects when conducting feasibility studies,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) Mr Thomas Sakala participated in the talks.