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The COMESA Authority comprises of the Heads of State and Government of the different COMESA Countries; the Authority is COMESA’s supreme policy-making organ. It is responsible for the general policy direction and control of the performance of the executive functions of COMESA. It is headed by a Chairman elected for an agreed period.

The Authority meets once a year, but may hold an Extraordinary Summit at the request of any member of the Authority, provided that one-third of the members of the Authority support such a request. The last extraordinary Summit was held in 2000 at the official launching of the COMESA FTA. Summits are held in various member States, with the host Government and the COMESA Secretariat bearing joint responsibility for their organization. Usually, the country hosting the Summit assumes the chairmanship of the Authority for the year.

Decision Making Process

Under normal circumstances, the Authority takes decisions by consensus. Although its meetings are in closed session, at the end of each meeting, the leaders issue a communiqué recording their decisions. The Authority sometimes issues declarations or statements on matters of particular concern. The directives and decisions taken by the Authority are binding on all member States and the other organs to which they are addressed.

Chairpersons of the COMESA Authority

2015 – to present

His Excellency Ato Hailemariam Desalegn
Prime Minister of the Fedral Republic of Ethiopia

2014 – 2015

His Excellency Joseph Kabila
President of the Democratic Republic of Congo

2012 – 2014

His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
President of the Republic of Uganda

2011 – 2012

His Excellency Ngwazi Prof. Bingu Wa Mutharika
President of the Republic of Malawi

2010 – 2011

His Majesty King Mswati III
Ingwenyama of the Kingdom of Swaziland

2009 – 2010

His Excellency Robert Gabriel Mugabe
President of the Republic of Zimbabwe

2007 – 2009

His Excellency Mwai Kibaki
President of the Republic of Kenya

2006 – 2007

His Excellency Ismail Omar Guelleh
President of the Republic of Djibouti

2005 – 2006

His Excellency Paul Kagame
President of the Republic of Rwanda

2004 – 2005

His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
President of the Republic of Uganda

2003 – 2004

His Excellency Omar Hassan Ahmed Al Bashir
President of the Republic of Sudan

2002-2003

His Excellency Meles Zenawi,
Prime Ministers of The Federal Republic of Ethiopia

2001 – 2002

His Excellency Mohammed Hosni Mubarak
President of the Republic of Egypt

2000 – 2001

His Excellency Sir Anerood Jugnauth
President of the Republic of Mauritius

1999 – 2000

His Excellency Daniel Arap Moi
President of the Republic of Kenya

1997 – 1999

His Excellency Dr Frederick Chiluba
President of the Republic of Zambia

1994 – 1997

His Excellency Dr Bakili Muluzi
President of the Republic of Malawi

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