Written by  Mirriam Kaliza in Cairo

 COMESA member states have resolved to deepen investments in transformative programmes that can also build community resilience in the face of disasters.

Dr Chilima during the summit. Dr Chilima during the summit.


The resolution is in light of the destructive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.



The resolution is contained in a communique released at the end of the 21st COMESA Summit in Cairo, Egypt.


Among other things, it says there is a need for member states, to prioritise investments in digital infrastructure. This they say is key to enhancing universal internet access and for the quick recovery of national economies.



The summit also re-emphasised the important role the private sector plays in enhancing regional integration. It has further endorsed the revival of COMESA Trade Fairs to help exploit the region's full trade potential.


Another take home from the summit is a call for member countries to adopt and strengthen the implementation of the COMESA Tripartite Transport Plan.


On agriculture, delegates have agreed that member states must improve both the value and volume of traded goods, to ensure food security, and help narrow the trade imbalance between imports and exports.



In an interview with MBC, Vice President Dr Saulos Chilima particularly stressed the need for Malawi to prioritise value addition.



"As a country, we need to enhance efforts to industrialise, we need to push for deliberate efforts to add value to our products, only through that way, We can earn better on the international market," explained Chilima.


Among those who attended the Summit were Heads of State and Government from Egypt, Libya, and Madagascar.



Virtually present were Heads of State from countries like Burundi, Rwanda, Mauritius, Seychelles, Somali and Tunisia. Whereas, Malawi, Zambia and Uganda were represented by their Vice Presidents.




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