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The 37th Meeting of the COMESA Administrative and Budgetary matters came to an end Friday, May 11, 2018 at the COMESA Secretariat in Lusaka. The meeting discussed financing of the Common Market programmes and human resources matters.

Specifically, the Committee assessed the status of member States contributions to the organization’s, budget adequacy of effectiveness of management’s internal controls and management risks covering operations; financial reporting; and ensuring compliance with the Treaty and other Rules. 

Among the reports considered were from the COMESA Court of Justice, Africa Leather and Leather Products Institute; Regional Investment Agency; Competition Commission; and Federation of National Associations of Women in Business in Eastern and Southern Africa. 

Addressing the member States delegates at the opening ceremony, Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya expressed concern at the status on contributions to the Common Market budget from Member States. He noted that COMESA will not be able to provide the required institutional administrative and support if the member States failed to honour their financial obligations.

 “As Secretary General, I have concluded that it is necessary for COMESA Member States to consider revisiting the current level of their annual contributions, at a minimum to take over the additional burden arising from withdrawal of Cooperating Partners funding towards staffing and institutional requirements.”

Currently, over 85% of annual Member States contributions are allocated towards staffing and institutional administrative and support requirements. 

Mr Ngwenya indicated that the Committee meeting comes a time when the President of Rwanda is providing leadership to AU reforms, which will trickle down to RECs, including COMESA. 

“At the core of the reforms at the AU is a question of how to finance AU/REC programmes in a sustainable manner,” he said. “I request this Committee on to reflect on matters such as the current levels of contribution and remittance.”

The recommendation of the Committee will be presented to the Inter-Governmental Committee and later to the Council of Ministers for decision making during their scheduled meetings in Juny 2018.