A delegation of seven staff members of COMESA secretariat landed at Bujumbura International Airport this Thursday 14 December to prepare the COMESA summit which will be held in Burundi, in the first quarter of 2018.
A team of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) staff members have just come to evaluate how far Burundi is preparing the summit. "This is our third mission to Burundi. We have come to discuss with the Burundian team that deal with preparations of the COMESA summit to be held in Burundi at the beginning of 2018", says Martha Elimu.
" It is confirmed, Burundi will host the 20th COMESA summit", Elimu says ,adding that it will probably be held in April 2018 but COMESA General Secretary will confirm the exact date in the future.
Zéphyrin Maniratunga, Chief of Protocol to the President of the Republic and Chairman of the National Committee on official celebrations says Burundi is happy and ready to organize such an important event as agreed at the 19th summit held in Madagascar.
About the recent letter sent by the General Secretary stating that Burundi cannot hold COMESA summit , Maniratunga says there was a slight misunderstanding. "There was a shift in perspective from those who visited the field and those who made the decision. Maybe there was a misunderstanding but today the matter is settled", he says.
Maniratunga also says after the General Secretary's letter, there has been an objective analysis of the situation, a review of all the accusations and results of the experts' inquiries, and the decision was made to hold the summit in Burundi.
By hosting the 20th COMESA, Burundi gains so many advantages namely improving diplomatic relations with country members and presenting the positive image of the country.