Access to improved seeds by more than 80 million small-holder farmers in the Comesa region remains low standing at 23 per cent. This has resulted in low productivity, especially for cereals such as maize, sorghum and pearl millet. Despite Comesa countries having most of the global arable land, the region still grapples with food production. Read more. Source | New Times
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)'s competition watchdog plans to tighten surveillance in order to enhance consumer protection, officials said on Monday.
George Lipimile, Chief Executive of the COMESA Competition Commission, told journalists in Nairobi that restrictive trade practices by member states and big firms are on the rise leading to exploitation of consumers. Read more. Source | New Times
An ongoing COMESA annual research forum in Nairobi has been informed that the trade block stands to gain monumental growth and saving if only it implemented electronic measures to promote trade. According to trade researchers, the region would annually gain US$17.5 billion in intra-COMESA exports if all the member States fully implemented the digital trade facilitation reforms that involves the use of paperless trade facilitation measures. Read more. Source | The Exchange
The COMESA Connect Industry Dialogue set for June 21st to 22th, in Kigali, will bring together high level technical expertise from the public and private sector to provide common solutions that will prepare, protect, revolutionize and sustain competitive businesses, organizers say. Formed in December 1994 to replace the Preferential Trade Area, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is a free trade area with 19 member states stretching from Libya to Swaziland. Read more. Source | New Times
Ministers in Partner States have approved the digital economic integration initiative. The Secretariat completed the preparatory stage, from design to production of the key instruments especially the digital certificate of origin, presented them at several formal government meetings ranging from expert to ministerial level over the course of last year and early this year.
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa will formally adopt the instruments at its upcoming summit in Bujumbura from June 1-10, then begin the digital free trade area. Read more. Source | East African
Efforts to improve access to quality seeds in the region have got a big boost following the introduction of seed certification by Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) member countries.
According to a statement from the COMESA secretariat, regional seed distribution certificates will be issued by national seed authorities on verification by COMESA experts.
Only seeds registered on the COMESA variety catalogue after inspection and laboratory testing by COMESA experts will be issued certificates. Read more. Source | New Times
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) secretary General, Sindiso Ngwenya has urged member states to fast track harmonisation of policies in the mining industry to make the sector more competitive and profitable.
According to Ngenya, the sector’s potential can only be sustainably harnessed through establishment of governance structures and leveraging on the existing multinational trade agreements.
Ngwenya told The New Times that sound institutional frameworks will enable COMESA’s national and sub-national governments to have a say in decisions regarding the use of the resources located in their territories including minerals if they harmonise policies regulating the sector. Read more. Source | New Times
South Africa, the second largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa, has joined Kenya and other regional countries in signing of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) aimed at easing doing business on the continent.
Johannesburg joined the FTA pact during the ministerial meeting that was held in Kampala, Uganda last week. TFTA brings together three business regional blocs of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Kenya is a member of Comesa and EAC. Read more. Source | Business Daily
Regional countries should always consider gender in policy formulation and implementation, as well as in the negotiations of trade and other agreements because it is key to economic growth, Mukhisa Kituyi, UNCTAD Secretary General, has said.
Speaking during the launch of an online training course for COMESA countries on the “links between trade and gender” on Monday, Kituyi said mainstreaming gender would ensure equity and inclusion in the region’s development agenda.
The training would focus on the interactions between trade and gender and their links to the Common Market for East and Southern African (COMESA) countries’ inclusive development strategies, as well as the influence of trade integration on gender outcomes in different economic sectors among member countries. Read more. Source | New Times
It will now be easier and faster for the business community in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) to report trade barriers within the tripartite regional economic bloc, thanks to a new short messaging service (SMS) system. According to experts, the innovation that was launched last week will help improve regional trade.
Souef Kamalidini, the director general for Customs at COMESA, said the SMS tool will supplement the current web-based online system for reporting, monitoring and elimination of non-tariff barriers (NTBs) used by COMESA, the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). A similar system is used by the Northern Corridor countries to report NTBs.
The tripartite online reporting system is a real-time mechanism for reporting, processing, monitoring and resolving NTBs. Read more. Source | New Times