Over 200 delegates led by Ministers in charge of ministries that coordinate implementation of COMESA programmes and activities in the 21 Member States will be in Lusaka, Zambia this week for the annual policy organs meetings. They will be attending the 43rd Intergovernmental Committee and the Council of Ministers meetings from Tuesday 29 November to Thursday 01 December 2022.
This is the first physical meeting of the COMESA policy organs since 2019.
The Inter-governmental Committee (IC) which comprises Permanent Secretaries and Principal Secretaries will meet on 29 – 30 November 2022 and will consider reports from sectoral technical committees and COMESA institutions on the status of implementation of regional integration programmes covering trade, investments, industry, infrastructure, gender and social affairs. Also to be addressed are administrative and budget matters.
Policy recommendations arising from the IC meeting will be presented to the Council of Ministers on 01 December 2022 for decision-making. The Council is responsible for overseeing the functioning and development of COMESA and ensuring the implementation of agreed policies. Its decisions are binding to Member States and the Secretariat to implement in the subsequent period
The vice President of Zambia Her Honour Mrs Mutale Nalumango will open the Ministerial meeting while the Zambia Minister of Trade, Commerce and Industry, Hon Chipoka Mulenga will open the IC meeting. Egypt, which is the current chair of the COMESA Authority of Heads of State and Governments will preside over the meetings.
The theme of the meetings is: Building Resilience Through Digital Economic Integration. It was motivated by the emerging regional and global economic dynamics which have impacted heavily on the COMESA regional integration agenda. Specifically, the aftermath of COVID-19 Pandemic has been the most impactful phenomenon hence the focus on resilience building to cushion economies from future shocks.
Representatives of the key development partners of COMESA have been invited to the meetings. Among those expected to address the meetings are representatives of the European Union, the World and the African Development Bank.