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The Zimbabwean government has sent a delegation to the COMESA secretariat to benchmark the setup and operation of the COMESA e-Conference System which was used for the first time during the 19th COMESA Heads of State and Government Summit in Antananarivo, Madagascar in October 2016.

Head of Delegation and Principal Director at the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier services, Cosmas Chigwamba said the study tour is as a result of the plans the government of Zimbabwe has of having an e-Cabinet.

“Our familiarization tour by this technical team of government officials to the COMESA Headquarters in Zambia is meant to obtain an in-depth appreciation of the COMESA e-Conferencing system and I can positively inform you that it is workable back home”, Mr Chigwamba said.

He said the tour has been an eye opener regarding the operationalization of the system which he said is cost effective and efficient especially with the ever changing technology adding that once rolled out at the Cabinet, the rest of the government may also need to go paperless to avoid using huge amounts of papers and labor.

“This tour is really a confidence booster regarding what we want to venture into back home and we shall with my team here definitely go back and implement the e-conferencing system just like you are doing it here at COMESA”, He said.

Director of Information Technology at COMESA Secretariat, Lanka Dorby expressed gratitude to the Zimbabwean Government for choosing COMESA’s e-Conferencing system which she described as a milestone for the organisation.

She explained that the paperless system has seen COMESA reduce huge costs at the just ended summit compared to the previous summits where the secretariat could use more than 5 tons of paper which she described as detrimental to the fight against climate change.

“I am sure you have seen that the system is very simple and straight forward but most importantly it will reduce on the use of paper and this will preserve the trees in the world”, she said.

The director promised to offer technical support to the Zimbabwean government in times of need before, during and after the implementation of the system.

The COMESA paperless summit in October 2016 was warmly received and accepted by Member States.