Foreign Secretary represents Seychelles at 37th Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa
November 8, 2017
Ambassador Claude Morel, Foreign Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs attended the 37th Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) held in Lusaka, Zambia from 3-4 November 2017. The Meeting convened by H.E. Mr. Nourdine Chabani, the Minister for Trade and Consumption of Madagascar and Chair of the COMESA Council of Ministers. Her Excellency Mrs Inonge Wina, Vice President of the Republic of Zambia was the guest of honour during the opening ceremony.
The meeting was represented by the 19 member states and partners of COMESA and held under the theme “COMESA – Towards digital economic integration”. The meeting witnessed the participation of Tunisia for the first time expected to become a fully-fledged member of COMESA during the next COMESA Heads of State Summit in 2018.
Vice President Mrs Inonge Wina and the Secretary General of COMESA, H.E. Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya during their interventions both spoke of the importance of embracing Information Communication Technology (ICT) in all regional integration programmes as countries are increasingly trading with each other through electronic platforms.
COMESA has already developed a number of trade facilitation applications such as the COMESA Virtual Trade Facilitation System, an online platform for trade facilitation instruments and a regional customs bond; Regional Customs Guarantee Scheme. An electronic Certificate of Origin (of goods for export) and a digital Free Trade Area Application that will incorporate e-Commerce, e-Legislation and e-Logistics are also being developed.
The meeting saw the Assistant Secretary General, H.E. Ambassador Dr. Kipyego Cheluget’s contract be renewed for a second term and adoption of a roadmap for the Recruitment of the Secretary General as the incumbent’s contracts ends in June 2018 and as he has already served two mandates, he is ineligible to apply.
It must be highlighted that Seychelles alongside Mauritius were recognized for being the countries that have paid their full annual contributions before mid-year.
The next COMESA Summit of Heads of State and Government is expected to take place during the 1st Quarter of 2018 in Burundi but this will be confirmed by the end of the year.