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The Government of Sudan has appointed a new Permanent Representative to COMESA. His Excellency Hussein Awad Ali who is also the Ambassador of Sudan to Zambia presented his Letter of Credence to Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya at the COMESA Headquarters in Lusaka today Friday 26 February 2016.

In his remarks during the brief ceremony, Amb. Ali said; “COMESA is our organization. The success of this organization depends on our efforts individually and collectively as governments. My President His Excellency Omar Hassan Al-Bashir and the Minister of Foreign Affairs assigned me here so we are committed to this process as a country. I am at your disposal so that we can together deepen regional integration in our bloc.”

Secretary General Ngwenya welcomed Amb. Ali noting that Sudan was an active Member of COMESA and had steadily implemented various programmes on regional integration. Among them the COMESA Free Trade Area, the Regional Payment and Settlement Scheme (REPSS) and the Regional Association of Energy Regulators for Eastern and Southern Africa.

Further, he noted that Sudan became the 12th Member State in the region to sign the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) in 2013. This was a significant development given that agriculture employs 80% of the labour force in Sudan.

“Sudan is the only State in COMESA to have commercialized the Bt-cotton since 2012 with over 100,000 acres currently under cultivation and 97% of the farmers now growing the variety,” Mr Ngwenya said adding that this was a good example for other COMESA Member States regarding agriculture development.

“Bt cotton is important because of the high incomes that are four times higher than the conventional cotton which is prone to attaches by Boll worms,” Mr Ngwenya said.

Sudan is also the world’s largest exporter of gum Arabic which is used as an emulsifier and a thickening agent in icing, fillings, chewing gum and other confectionary treats.

Mr Ngwenya revealed that Sudan has secured a total of 2.4 million Euros under the Adjustment Facility and the Regional Integration Support Mechanism (RISM) programme. The funds will support the Sudan’s export diversification agenda with a special emphasis on intra-regional market expansion.

Sudan hosts the COMESA Court of Justice in Khartoum.