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Comesa Newsletter - Issue 160
27 June 2008
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)


Norway appoints a Special Representative to COMESA

Norway has appointed a special Representative to COMESA. The Royal Norwegian Ambassador to Zambia His Excellency Tore Gjos, presented his Credential to the COMESA Interim Secretary General Mr Sindiso Ngwenya on 25th June 2008 at the COMESA Secretariat in Lusaka. Norway becomes the ninth country to appoint a special representative to the regional grouping.

Other non-African countries that have special representatives to COMESA are France, Russia, United States of America, India, Cuba, China, Italy and Brazil.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador Gjos revealed that Norway attaches a lot of importance to regional integration and therefore the significance of this occasion. He revealed that his country put a lot of emphasis on climate change and is looking forward to work with COMESA on a regional programme on climate change issues. This he said, is because COMESA is the leading Regional Economic Community on the issue of climate change.

"Norway strongly feels that COMESA is an organization with whom we can work together. We appreciate your leadership role in the various developmental programme brought by regional integration and Norway wants to support your efforts," Ambassador Gjos said.

He pointed out that the fact that COMESA covers about forty percent of Africa is enough to make it a large economic force on the continent. He noted that Norway has development cooperation with most COMESA countries adding that it has established embassies in twelve of the nineteen countries.

Interim COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya commended Norway for the continued cooperation with the COMESA region. He added that Norway has established development assistance with COMESA and recently launched a US$120million micro finance facility in Ethiopia, a COMESA member State. In the same country, Norway has programmes on alleviating the effects of drought.

Mr Ngwenya emphasized that COMESA is seriously working on the issue of climate change, and is working with other regional groupings on this every important subject. Mr Ngwenya revealed that soon present a joint regional proposal will be made to Norway with the view to enhance cooperation in the filed of Climate change. The proposal will be endorsed by COMESA, EAC and SADC.

At the same function, Mr Ngwenya announced that COMESA, EAC and SADC will in October this year hold the much awaited tripartite Heads of State and Government Summit. This Summit is expected to make a milestone on harmonization of the programmes in the RECs.

Other features in this newsletter:

  • Zimbabwe's history shows that they can reconcile
  • Carbon Fund Facility soon to be launched for Africa
  • FARNPAN and COMESA Call for Food Security in the Region
  • COMESA provides capacity on development of foreign direct investment indicators
  • COMESA e-Government framework continued
  • COMESA Customs Union countdown

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