Uganda hosts COMESA



By Godfrey Olukya   20-11-2012

Uganda is hosting the 16th Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) conference that will among other issues discuss trade issue and find solutions to trade promotion in the region to  boost the economy through forging ways on how to penetrate to other competitive  and larger blocks like the EU.COMESA ministers meeting kicked of yesterday. It precedes the heads of state and government summit that will take place from November 23rd to 24th 2012.

At  the heads of state summit,19 countries are to be represented by their heads of states or those who will be sent to stand in for them.

Speaking to journalists about hosting COMESA, Uganda’s  industry and cooperatives minister, Amelia Kyambadde said that they are to put much focus on small and medium enterprise ( SME) development.

However, the chairman,  private sector foundation Uganda,  Gerald Sendawula stated that
the business community is to grossly benefit from the summit as more  opportunities are to be put at their disposal during the time of hosting.

Meanwhile, while yesterday officially opening the 31st meeting of COMESA council of ministers at Speke Resort, Munyunyo, Uganda’s prime minister, Amama Mbabazi said that regional peace and security are paramount if countries in the Common market for Eastern and Southern Africa  are to carry out intra-regional trade and infrastructure development.

He said,’If there is no peace and security, nothing much can be done. The two factors are are crucial if member states are to achieve targets in the areas of trade, infrastructure development, science, technology, gender, labour and social development.’

He said that most of COMESA member states lag behind because they wasted much of their time in wars.

He accused some developed countries that are against a united Africa. ‘Our efforts in searching for regional stability is misunderstood and abused by systems that are threatened by our determination to unite and carry out our business as united region.’ he said.

The theme at this year’s COMESA meeting is, ‘Enhancing intra-COMESA trade through micro, small and medium enterprise development.’

COMESA member countries have a population of 389 million people. Uganda’s president,Yoweri Museveni has always called on businessmen and manufacturers  in COMESA and East  African Community to take advantage of the regional market.


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