US Ambassador accredited to COMESA as Special Representative

Lusaka, Monday, September 18, 2023: The US Ambassador to Zambia Mr. Michael Gonzales has been accredited as Special Representative to COMESA. Ambassador Gonzales presented his Letter of Credence to the Secretary General Chileshe Mpundu Kapwepwe at the COMESA Headquarters in Lusaka,

Receiving the accreditation, the Secretary General acknowledged the long standing partnership the US and COMESA.

“Through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), COMESA has been working in partnership with USA since 1994,” said the Secretary General. “There have been numerous Agreements and Programmes that have been implemented through this partnership. The most recent one being the Regional Development Objective Grant Agreement signed in 2016.”

In 2022, USA was ranked 6th of the region’s export destination markets,” she said. “The value of COMESA’s exports to USA increased by 7% from US$ 6.3 billion in 2021 to US$ 6.8 billion in 2022. The value of COMESA’s imports from the USA increased by 12% from US$ 10.4 billion in 2021 to US$ 11.7 billion in 2022. However, in percentage terms, USA’s import market share remained the same at 4% in 2021 and 2022.

In  2016 COMESA was given the Status of Public International Organization (PIO) classification by the US Government.

“To further improve on our existing cordial relationship and partnership, COMESA will engage the USA Government with a view to further deepen and strenghten our collaboration and cooperation,” said the SG.

On his part, Amb. Gonzales said the United States has invested more than $226m to strengthen COMESA’s capacity to provide its Member States a solid foundation for bolstering regional integration through increased intra-regional trade and shared economic growth.

“We look forward to continuing to support COMESA and co-creating activities that further our shared goals of increasing trade and investment and strengthening African food security,” Amb. Gonzales said.

In 2022, the USA was ranked 6th  of the region’s export destination markets. The value of COMESA’s exports to the USA increased by 7% from US$6.3bn in 2021 to US$6.8bn in 2022.

Statement by the Secretary General