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Lusaka, Friday, June 2, 2017: COMESA Bureau of Council held its 24th meeting today to deal with priority issues on the implementation of regional integration programmes and other administrative matters.

The Bureau which meets on behalf of the full Council of Ministers comprises of three Ministers in charge of the COMESA coordinating Ministries. Currentky they are the chair from Madagascar, Vice chair from Burundi and Ethiopia (rapporteur).

Minister of Trade and Consumption from Madagascar H.E Armand Tazafy, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism of Burundi H.E Madam Niyonkuru Pelate and Director General in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation of Ethiopia Mr Semere Tesfaye attended the meeting.

Among the key issues in the Bureau’s agenda was the review of the status of implementation of COMESA priority programme for 2017.

The Bureau discussed the progress on the negotiations for membership of the Republic of Tunisia to COMESA, the status of contributions by member States to the budget of the COMESA Secretariat and preparations of the 2017 Summit among others.

Speaking during the official opening session, Minister Tazafy observed that it was the first time that the current Bureau was meeting after taking office in October 2016.

“We meet here to discuss progress made since we last met as Council to review the state of implementation of the various programmes meant to spearhead regional integration and improve the lives of people in our grouping,” the Minister noted

He said the Bureau had an important role to play in formulating recommendations that will help the Council of Ministers and the Heads of State to make decisions which will produce sustainable results.

“We shall evaluate past decisions made and propose new strategies that will advance the state of regional integration,” said the Minister.

COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya accompanied by the management staff.