Lusaka, Sunday, November 24, 2019: COMESA Institutions and the Secretariat have developed a draft framework of cooperation. The tool is intended to deepen collaboration and synergy in the delivery of their different mandate towards their common goal of promoting regional integration.
In a one-day retreat conducted in Lusaka, Zambia on Sunday, November 24, 2019, the heads of the institutions and Secretariat agreed on the need to adopt a more coordinated approach in joint planning, procedures for reporting to the COMESA Policy Organs and resource mobilization.
The initiative is line with Article 175 of the COMESA Treaty, which provides for the relationship between the Institutions considering the objectives, policies, programmes and activities of the Common Market in the implementation of the Charter of each Institution.
Speaking at the opening of the retreat, Secretary General of COMESA, Chileshe Kapwepwe noted that a lot of work on implementation of the COMESA Treaty was being undertaken by COMESA institutions.
“In terms of reporting the achievements of the Common Market, the contributions made by the institutions are not reported properly,” the SG noted. “It is therefore important that we chart the way on how we shall be working together to ensure that COMESA Member States are aware of and realize the benefits of regional integration.”
The forum considered the structure and modalities for reporting to COMESA Policy Organs and agreed on the need to specify the roles and targets for institutions and harmonize them to promote complementarity.
In this regard, a joint task team will be constituted to come up with a draft framework of reporting by institutions to demonstrate their achievements especially on value addition at the national level.
The forum also acknowledged that all COMESA Member States invested resources in the establishment of each institution, hence the need to uphold the aims and objectives of the Common Market while respecting their specific mandates and governance structures.
In coming up with a cooperation framework, the forum noted that some institutions of the Common Market have membership that goes beyond COMESA. Hence there was need to ensure balance between their responsibilities as COMESA institutions, and the interests of the other stakeholders.
As part of joint planning, information sharing between the institutions on one hand and with the Secretariat on the other, will be enhanced through harmonized communication strategy. The Secretariat will share the calendar of major events where institutions could leverage such as the Secretary General’s missions to Member States, in which they have special interests.
To formalize the working relationships, the parties will develop memoranda of understanding to provide the framework of collaboration and synergy.