EU-Comesa sign 1,5m euro de­vel­op­ment fa­cil­ity

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle -

THE Euro­pean Union and Comesa yes­ter­day signed a Tech­ni­cal Co­op­er­a­tion Fa­cil­ity (TCF) of 1.525 mil­lion eu­ros.

The fa­cil­ity will sup­port im­ple­men­ta­tion of re­gional in­te­gra­tion pro­grammes in­clud­ing co­or­di­na­tion, di­a­logue be­tween Comesa and its Mem­ber States and com­mu­ni­ca­tion and vis­i­bil­ity.

The head of the EU del­e­ga­tion to Zam­bia and special rep­re­sen­ta­tive to Comesa Mr Alessan­dro Mar­i­ani and Comesa sec­re­tary gen­eral Mr Sindiso Ng­wenya signed the agree­ment.

The re­sources al­lo­cated to the TCF are part of the euro 4.485 mil­lion fi­nanc­ing agree­ment signed in Fe­bru­ary 2016 be­tween the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion and Comesa.

The agree­ment will en­sure that Comesa has the ca­pac­ity to un­der­take high-qual­ity and in­clu­sive de­sign and im­ple­men­ta­tion of its re­gional in­te­gra­tion pro­grammes funded un­der the 11th Euro­pean De­vel­op­ment Fund (EDF 11).

Un­der the EDF 11, Comesa has an al­lo­ca­tion of 85 mil­lion eu­ros to fa­cil­i­tate the im­ple­men­ta­tion of its re­gional in­te­gra­tion agenda fo­cus­ing on eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion through trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion and pri­vate sec­tor de­vel­op­ment.

The fa­cil­ity will also en­able Comesa to ef­fec­tively par­tic­i­pate in the over­all co­or­di­na­tion of the 11th EDF Eastern Africa-South­ern Africa-In­dian Ocean Re­gional In­dica­tive Programme among the Duly Man­dated Re­gional Or­gan­i­sa­tions (DMROs) as well as be­tween the DMROs and the Euro­pean Union.

Mr Mar­i­ani said the TCF demon­strates the EU’s com­mit­ment to the part­ner­ship with Comesa and the over­all in­te­gra­tion agenda.

“Re­gional in­te­gra­tion is a long process that needs strong com­mit­ment by all par­ties con­cerned and full in­volve­ment by mem­ber states,” he said.

He stressed the im­por­tance of con­sul­ta­tion with mem­ber States and all stake­hold­ers from the in­cep­tion of the pro­grammes to en­sure ‘every­one was on board.’

Mr Ng­wenya said the TCF re­sources will be used to im­prove and fine tune two ac­tion doc­u­ments and ad­vance the project iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and for­mu­la­tion progress for the re­main­ing part of the Comesa suben­ve­lope.

“The pro­gram­ming of the 11th EDF Comesa suben­ve­lope has so far pro­gressed very well with the sub­mis­sion by 30 June 2016 of two ac­tion doc­u­ments for pro­grammes on trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion and on small scale cross-border traders.”

Mr Ng­wenya said. “The two ac­tion doc­u­ments ac­count for Euro 68 mil­lion, which once ap­proved rep­re­sent a com­mit­ment of 80 per­cent of the Comesa 11th EDF sub-en­ve­lope.”

He thanked the Euro­pean Union for its con­tin­ued sup­port to en­hance eco­nomic growth in Eastern Africa, South­ern Africa, and In­dian Ocean in gen­eral and in par­tic­u­lar for its sup­port to Comesa.

Mr Ng­wenya noted that mem­ber states were now be­gin­ning to take own­er­ship of re­gional in­te­gra­tion pro­grammes by al­lo­cat­ing their own re­sources as op­posed to only par­tic­i­pat­ing at the im­ple­men­ta­tion stage.

“I look for­ward to the day when par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee mem­bers will start over­see­ing re­gional in­te­gra­tion projects sup­ported by de­vel­op­ment part­ners like they do to those funded from lo­cal re­sources,” he said, adding that this will deepen own­er­ship and ac­count­abil­ity. — comesa. int

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