23 November 2012

East Africa: Uganda Takes Over Comesa Chair

President Yoweri Museveni yesterday took over the chairmanship of the nineteen member Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) economic bloc.

He took over from the outgoing chair, President Joyce Banda of Malawi, who handed over the chairpersonship during the 16th summit of the COMESA Heads of State and government.

Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi is representing President Paul Kagame at the summit taking place at the Speke Resort Hotel Munyonyo in Kampala, Uganda.

"African economies are too fragmented," President Museveni said, and this makes it hard for the continent to attract foreign direct investments."

The Ugandan President underscored the need for integration of African countries through trading blocs like COMESA and the EAC.

COMESA is a regional grouping of 19 African countries, with a potential market of over 400 million people and a combined GDP of $799 billion by 2010, making it one of the biggest African trading blocs.

Members include Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, Rwanda, DR Congo, Burundi, Comoros, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Djibouti, Madagascar, Mauritius, Malawi, Uganda, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Seychelles and Swaziland.

The meeting, which closes today, was held under the theme, "Enhancing intra-COMESA trade through micro, small and medium enterprise development."

Copyright © 2012 The New Times. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.