Lusaka, Wednesday 25 August 2021: COMESA has awarded nine (09) scholarships worth USD 24,300 to students admitted to Kenyatta University in Kenya to pursue a Master’s Degree Programme in Regional Integration. The Scholarship Award Selection Committee sat on 1st July 2021 and considered all the applications based on the scholarship award criteria before awarding the scholarships to the second cohort of applicants. These latest scholarships have been supported by the European Union and the Organization of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States under the TradeCom II Capacity Building Programme,
The Master’s Programme is designed to primarily address a critical cause of the slow progress of regional integration in the COMESA region, and in the rest of the African continent –limited skills and institutional capacity. According to COMESA Trade Professionals, the programme will expand the pool of local experts which will not only solve the inability of countries to implement the numerous protocols, decisions and Acts but also strengthen the implementation of various commitments, including legal, economic, social, and political areas in COMESA Member States. In addition, the programme will help to speed up domestication of regional rules and procedures including many of those that have been agreed upon by member states, which are not always woven into or operationalized as part of the domestic policy process.
So far, there are 28 students who are finishing their first year of studies at Kenyatta University and the University of Mauritius. The University of Mauritius will be admitting the second Cohort in September 2021, while the University of Zambia is expected to commence admissions before end of 2021.
This programme was introduced in 2020 following the 28th Council of Ministers meeting held in Swaziland in 2010 which decided that COMESA sets up a professional or graduate school of regional integration. For now, the collaborative virtual master’s degree Programme in Regional Integration is only offered at Kenyatta University, Kenya and the University of Mauritius.
Once fully fledged, the two-year online post-graduate programme will be offered at 22 universities in the COMESA region.
Although the programme aims to boost the pool of policy makers, researchers, and scholars across COMESA, it is open to students around the world, different continents and across both COMESA and non-COMESA countries. It targets government officials working in divisions dealing with trade, integration, and cooperation issues. The programme is critical for students intending to work as trade officers, trade policy analysts, advisers, researchers, trade attachés, and private sector trade practitioners.
The Master’s in Regional Integration programme seeks to provide a sound conceptual, policy and practical training on regional integration, as well as extending access to research opportunities and higher education on regional integration in the COMESA region.