The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the European Union (EU) have signed two financing agreements with a total value of €48.2 million.
Special Representative to COMESA, Karolin Stasiak, said the financing which would come in form of grants would be financed under EU’s Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument, Sub Saharan Africa Programme for 2021-2027.
During the signing ceremony in Lusaka on Monday, Stasiak said the first financing agreement was the Trade Competitiveness and Market Access programme, which had a total budget of €40 million.
She said this would focus on improving the overall trade competitiveness of COMESA member states.
“This will be done while seeking opportunities that come along with global challenges, such as climate change, and making trade more sustainable,” Stasiak emphasized.
She said the second financing agreement was the trade in services programmes had a total value of €8.2 million.
Stasiak said it was expected that this would further contribute to enhancing the overall competitiveness of enterprises, which provided services, including through digital platforms.
“The European Union will coordinate closely with COMESA and ensure that both regional programmes will not only be implemented most efficiently, but also respond to challenges and opportunities,” she stated.
Stasiak noted that this was in order to deliver concrete results and tangible outcomes within COMESA member states.
COMESA Secretary-General, Chileshe Kapwepwe, in her remarks emphasized that the signing of the financing agreements was a timely and important step in the cooperation efforts, as it prepared the regional block body for a more cohesive approach to its programmes.
Meanwhile, Stasiak, who is Special Representative to COMESA, presented her credentials to Kapwepwe, on Monday in Lusaka at the COMESA Secretariat.
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