Ministers in charge of coordination of COMESA programmes in the 19 member States begun meeting in Madagascar for the 36th COMESA Council of Minister’s meeting with a call for enhanced industrialization and an appeal to member states to implement regional commitments.

The two day meeting will make decisions on the implementation of COMESA programmes, address administrative issues and approve the proposed budget for the regional bloc for the next one year.

The Prime Minister of Madagascar H.E. Olivier Mahafaly Solonandrasana opened the meeting.

In his remarks, the PM appreciated COMESA’s work in the development of instruments and policies aimed at improving integration and boosting intra-COMESA trade. However, he noted that the organization continues to experience slow implementation and lack of domestication of various protocols by member States.

“The low level of transposition of regional instruments has negatively affected the implementation of the various programmes,” the PM observed.

A recent survey undertaken by the Secretariat showed low levels of implementation of regional commitments at national levels and thus recommended for undertaking a sustained sensitization and awareness campaigns of the COMESA protocols.

The Prime Minister called on the Secretariat to increase awareness creation and build the confidence of the private sector by providing the necessary tools to exploit the opportunities within the region. This will be crucial especially given that the private sector is the main driver of trade and investment, he said.

“One of COMESA’s key objectives is “to raise the standard of living of its peoples and to foster closer relations among its Member States”. This is not an easy feat to achieve, however all the programmes and instruments being implemented in the Member States ultimately seek to improve the livelihoods of ordinary citizens,” he said.

In pursuit of this overarching objective, the PM observed the need for revitalizing the domestic industries and to ensure they tap into the existing regional market and contribute to national and regional development objectives.

He said: “The potential for increased trade and growth exists, given that the share of intra COMESA trade in goods of its total trade currently stands at 6%. This is consistent with our theme of “Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialisation.”

He appealed to the political leaders of the respective countries, to review their country’s commitments and re-dedicate them to the ideals and goals set out in the COMESA Treaty.

The core business of the two day meeting is to make decisions the implementation of COMESA programmes, administrative and budget for the regional bloc for the next one year. Ministers and their representatives from the 19 Member States are attending.

The Prime Minister of Madagascar H.E. Olivier Mahafaly Solonandrasana opened the meeting.

In his remarks, the PM appreciated COMESA’s work in the development of instruments and policies aimed at improving integration and boosting intra-COMESA trade. However, he noted that the organization continues to experience slow implementation and lack of domestication of various protocols by member States.

“The low level of transposition of regional instruments has negatively affected the implementation of the various programmes,” the PM observed.

A recent survey undertaken by the Secretariat showed low levels of implementation of regional commitments at national levels and suggested sustained sensitization and awareness campaigns of the COMESA protocols.

The Prime Minister called on the Secretariat to increase awareness creation and build the confidence of the private sector by providing the necessary tools to exploit the opportunities within the region as this will be crucial especially that the private sector is the main driver of trade and investment.

“One of COMESA’s key objectives is “to raise the standard of living of its peoples and to foster closer relations among its Member States”. This is not an easy feat to achieve, however all the programmes and instruments being implemented in the Member States ultimately seek to improve the livelihoods of ordinary citizens”, he said.

The Prime minister said in pursuit of this overarching objective there is a need to revitalize the domestic industries and ensure that they tap into the existing regional market in order to contribute to national and regional development objectives.

“The potential for increased trade and growth exists, given that the share of intra COMESA trade in goods of its total trade currently stands at 6%. This is consistent with our theme of “Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialisation”, he said.

The Prime Minister appealed to the political leaders of respective countries, to review their country’s commitments and re-dedicate them to the ideals and goals set out in the COMESA Treaty.