The President of South Sudan His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit has reiterated his commitment for his country to join COMESA and its institutions.
Speaking in Juba when he met a delegation from COMESA Secretariat led by Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya, President Kiir said the programme for his countryâ€™s accession is on course and hopes to sign the COMESA Treaty during the upcoming Heads of State Summit in Madagascar in October this year.
The meeting was attended by Ministers and senior government officials from South Sudan. During the occasion, Mr Ngwenya made highlighted the history behind the pending accession of South Sudan to COMESA and its institutions and the benefits that will accrue therefrom.
The COMESA team assured the President that South Sudan would be assisted to build its local institutions in order to improve systems and processes and in turn enhance service delivery.
The decision approving the admission of South Sudan to the regional bloc was made in 2012 during the Summit of the COMESA Heads of State. It was informed by the fact that COMESA had been undertaking programmes and projects in the country prior to its separation and independence.
The Summit had subsequently tasked the SG to work with South Sudan on the matter. Since then, the SG has appeared before the countryâ€™s Parliament which unanimously agreed on their countryâ€™s bid join COMESA.
Meanwhile, COMESA has been officially mandated by the government of South Sudan to establish Special Economic Zones by facilitating and coordinating the process. The decision was made during a visit by the COMESA delegation to Terekeka State where land has been set aside for this purpose.