Ethiopian Ambassador accredited to COMESA

Lusaka, Zambia, Wednesday, March 27, 2024: The Secretary-General of COMESA has urged Ethiopia’s newly accredited Permanent Representative to the organization to assist expedite his country’s ratification of the COMESA Free Trade Area agreement.

During the accreditation ceremony of Ambassador Rashid Mohammed Abdul Wahid as Permanent Representative to COMESA on Wednesday, March 27, 2024, in Lusaka, Ms. Chileshe Kapwepwe acknowledged Ethiopia’s progress in the ratification process, which will allow it to participate in the COMESA Free Trade Area, now with 16 out of 21 member states participating.

Ms. Kapwepwe stated, “COMESA has been providing technical support to facilitate the implementation of the Action Plan to fast-track Ethiopia’s accession to the COMESA FTA.”

She outlined several COMESA-supported projects in Ethiopia, including a 5.6 million Euros funding signed in 2021 to enhance coordination of border management and trade and transport facilitation programs at the Moyale and Galafi borders, linking Ethiopia to Kenya and Djibouti, respectively.

COMESA also supported the development of Ethiopia’s national and regional AGOA strategy and provided training on Rules of Origin, World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement, and Non-Tariff Barriers for customs, public officials, and the private sector.

In the agriculture and industry sector, the Secretary-General cited the program on Prioritizing Sanitary and Phyto Sanitary Investments for Market Access (PIMA), where Ethiopian experts received training to ensure the sustainability and institutionalization of this framework.

Furthermore, equipment has been funded for the Ethiopian National Metrology Institutes and Legal Metrology Organizations, supporting the development of a Legal Metrology Legislative Framework for Ethiopia in line with International Organization for Legal Metrology and World Trade Organization requirements.

With support from the African Development Bank, COMESA has trained pharmaceutical enterprises in Ethiopia, such as Africure Pharmaceuticals Limited and Kilitch Estro Biotech Limited, to ensure that pharmaceutical products consistently meet safety and quality requirements as required by the regulatory authority.

Ambassador Wahid expressed Ethiopia’s appreciation for its membership in COMESA and recognized the organization’s pivotal role in promoting regional integration, economic development, and cooperation among its member states.

“We firmly believe that by working together, we can address the common challenges facing our region and unlock the immense potential for growth and development,” said Mr. Wahid, who is also the ambassador of Ethiopia to Zambia.

He pledged to strengthen the partnership between Ethiopia and COMESA and contribute constructively to its activities to advance the objectives of the regional bloc.