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The Common Market for East and Central Africa (COMESA) and the Economic Community for the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to deepen collaboration in the area of economic development, peace and security.

The MoU, was signed on 25th February 2016 at the margins of the United Nations Private Sector Investment Conference in the Great Lakes Region, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. COMESA Secretary General, Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya and the Executive Secretary of CEPGL Mr. Herman Tuyaga signed on behalf of their respective organizations.

Given that both organizations have fairly similar mandates, and their coverage overlaps some of the member States, the two identified the need to deepen their collaboration to optimize on available resources.

Specifically both organizations have committed to work together in the areas of mutual interest including projects on trans-border trade, energy, agriculture, and infrastructure and also in the areas of peace and security.

The two organizations also agreed to mobilize resources jointly to enable them to implement the projects.

“The timing of the signing of the MoU at the margins of the Private Sector Investment Conference, communicates a continued commitment by both organizations to work towards ensuring that the dividends of peace continue to translate to economic development, “Mr Ngwenya said. “This will, in turn, reinforce the sustainability of peace in the most efficient and effective manner.

CEPGL was established in 1976 with an overall objective of fostering development peace and security. It has a membership of three countries, Burundi, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo, all of which also belong to COMESA.