Antananarivo, Wednesday, March 6, 2019: Secretary General of COMESA Chileshe Mpundu Kapwepwe was in Madagascar this week to brief and consult the Chair of the COMESA Authority of Heads of States and Government H. E. President Andry Rajoelina of Madagascar on COMESA programmes and the 2019 Summit.
During the mission that took place between 4 and 6 March 2019, the SG also met with the Chairperson of COMESA Council of Ministers Hon. Lantosoa Rakotomalala to report on the status of the preparation of the Extra Ordinary Council of Ministers meeting that will take place on 5 April 2019 in Lusaka.
This was the first meeting between the executive management of COMESA and the leadership of Madagascar since the formation of the new government following democratic elections in the country late last year.
COMESA SG congratulated the President upon his election and briefed him on key programmes that COMESA was implementing. These include industrialization, the Digital Free Trade Area and the Blue Economy programme which island countries like Madagascar have keen interest.
The SG further briefed the President on the Africa Union and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) meeting coming up in June 2019 in Niger. The President is expected to represent COMESA in the meeting which seeks to harmonize the activities of the AU and the RECs.
COMESA Secretary General informed his Excellency President about AU RECs meeting on activities harmonization scheduled to take place in Niger on June 2029 where his Excellency will represent COMESA.
The President expressed his commitment to support the organization achieve its set goal in regional integration.
The meeting with the Chair of the Council Hon. Rakotomalala, who is also the Minister for Trade and Industry discussed the allocation to Madagascar of a total of 1.3 million Euros under the COMESA Regional Integration Mechanism (RISM).
Madagascar qualified for the funds which are in tranches of €373,953 and 964,842. The funds are provided by the European Union through COMESA to support Member States implement programmes that deepen regional integration.
Three other ministers had meetings with the Secretary General. They included Hon. Richard Randriamandranto (Finance and Budget) who is a former Chief of Strategic Planning and Research in COMESA, Hon. Lucien Fanomezantsoa, (Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries) and Hon. Naina Andriantsitohaina (Foreign Affairs).
during the same mission, COMESA SG participate in the official opening of a national workshop on food safety regulation access to US Market organized by COMESA and financed by USAID.