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Issue #: 415th, 2nd June 2014

CVTFS picks pace in the

Northern Corridor the borders, long transit and release time, goods pilferage and high operating costs in trucking.

T

A CVTFS technician (L) prepares to install the tracking device in a containerized truck in Nairobi.

he use of the Infor mation Communication Technology (ICT) in trade facilitation along the Northern Transit Corridor has picked pace and now the COMESA Secretariat has initiated the procurement of additional equipment to enable freight forwarders and customs authorities manage and monitor cargo movement thus reducing the cost of doing business.

The equipment which will be supplied to Rwanda includes 400 additional tracking devices developed under the COMESA Virtual Trade

Facilitation System (CVTFS). The devices will be delivered to the Rwanda Revenue Authority with 300 going to containerized traffic and 100 for petroleum tankers. Already 600 units are in use in the Northern corrodor and the Djibouti corridor and the demand is rising by the day. CVTFS was developed following a Council Decision in 2012 to provide an answer to the high cost of doing business through the use of information technology. Among the key challenges the system sought to address were diversion of goods in transit, delayed clearance at

Piloting of the devices on the Northern corridor was done in the last half of 2013. This provided enough experience to roll out the system in Member States. The system is used by Customs authorities, freight forwarders, insurance companies, banks, port authorities, container freight stations and traders. So far Rwanda is among the leading countries that have embraced the CVTFS. The implementation of the CVTFS will initially be based on the GPRS communications system providing real-time movement of cargo trucks along the corridor that connects the Port of Mombasa with Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo as well as South Sudan. In a recent meeting between the Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya and the

Rwanda Minister for Trade and Industry Hon. Kanimba Francois, it was agreed that a technical team will explore the feasibility of using the Satellite communication systems for the CVTFS taking into account that the cost of satellite communication is more expensive. With CVTFS, revenue authorities and freight forwarders are now able to access the location of each consignment on a digital map and to record events during a whole journey from the departure point to destination within a country or border point of exit. They have been able to stem cargo diversion as most gazetted transit goods routes have been geo-fenced. Among the benefits to companies is the ability to guarantee their customers quality of products delivered to them by securing the product when in transit. Any illegal opening, tamper or even attempt to detach the trailer will prompt the system to send an alert message to the control room and to the contracted transport company. In the event of vehicle breakdown, the company shall receive real time alerts from vehicle drivers under duress by activating a panic button that comes standard with the

This bulletin is published by the COMESA Secretariat Public Relations Unit but does not necessarily represent views of the Secretariat. For Feedback: pr@comesa.int Contact Address : COMESA SECRETARIAT, COMESA Center , Ben Bella Road P.O. Box 30051, 260 1 229 725, 260 1 225 107 www.comesa.int; email: e-COMESA@comesa.int

COMESA weekly newsletter


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ZEP RE Business growth soars to US $100 m

T

he COMESA Reinsurance agency, ZEP-RE has recorded an all-time high growth rate in business, asset base and profits since it was established 20 years ago. According to the latest statistics, the company underwrote business worth US$100 million last year compared to US $5 million at inception in 1994. It assets base has also risen from US$4 million to US $201 million.

“It is satisfying to observe that in 20 years, ZEP-RE has risen from a young uncertain entity to a strong and confident reinsurer of choice,” says COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya. “We are most proud of the various milestones ZEP-RE has so far achieved during this period.” Mr Ngwenya who was addressing the 23rd Annual General Assembly of ZEP-RE in Nairobi observed that 2013 was the most profitable year for the company with growth in profits reaching a high of US $15 million. The growth has mainly been attributed to diversification of service provision and products access by setting up regional hubs and country offices through-out the region. This is in addition to continuous facilitation of COMESA weekly newsletter

capacity building through sound training programme that has serviced over 150 training workshops in the region since its inception. ZEP-RE was established with the objectives of developing the region’s insurance industry, promoting of regional retention and underwriting capacity; and supporting regional economic development. Ngwenya noted that the realization of these goals is significant given that the region still lags behind in insurance penetration by global standards despite the great progress the industry has made in the last decade. The region, he notes, needs to grow its local insurance industry to effectively compete with major players in the global market in servicing all security needs within the region. He called on countries and citizens of the region to support indigenous institutions such as ZEP-RE as a means of ensuring they can better weather any storms such as the recent euro crisis “The small size of the regional markets means that when a global financial tragedy such as the euro crisis comes around, regional markets that

Mr Sindiso Ngwenya.

rely on international markets security suffer a lot even though we are not directly attached to the happenings in some of these markets,” Ngwenya observed. He said that regional integration and co-operation offered the best opportunity of creating a Pan African economic power house

capable of tilting the commercial bargaining power in the region’s favour. The Secretary General congratulated the management of ZEP-RE for maintaining its original focus on growth, profitability and the development of the insurance industry in spite of the challenges that beset


African Legal Institute to support COMESA

Policy Seminar Steering Committee Launched

T

he

Alliance

for

Commodity Trade in

furthering economic and social prosperity for the region.

Eastern and Southern

Africa (ACTESA), a specialised

In his closing remarks, Mr. Magai

Agency

has

added that time has come for

Country

Africa especially the Eastern and

of

launched

C

OMESA

and

The agreement was signed

the

African

in

Kigali,

Legal

Support

20

May

Facility

to

Southern African Region to take

coordinate the planning of the

lead at the high table to ensure

Policy Seminar on Import and

food security by addressing the

Export Bans scheduled for July

unpredictable agricultural trade

1 – 3, 2014.

between

policy environment which had

aims

led to minimal investment in the ‘The regional agenda on trade and

agricultural food value chains

Ngwenya

Director/

food security requires all partners

despite the great investment

of Understating aimed at

Chief Executive Officer of

to work together to deliver’”

potential. He added that there was

providing legal advice and

ALSF Mr Stephen Karangizi.

echoed Mr. George Magai. Mr.

need to rethink alternative policy

technical assistance to the

The ALSF, an institution of

Magai further commended the

responses that would catalyse

Secretariat

Member

the African Development

partners for the good work they

and trigger the huge production

were already doing to boost food

potential in the region.

States in matters pertaining

Bank is an international

security and create wealth in the

among others to natural

organization established by

COMESA region.

resources

extractive

a treaty and created with the

industries management and

objective of providing legal

contracting,

support to African countries

a

have

on

Host which

Secretary General Sindiso

signed

(ALSF)

Rwanda 2014

a

Committee

Mr. Karangizi, CEO ALSF (L) and Sindiso Ngwenya

COMESA

Memorandum

and

and

agreements

investment and

related

in

and

commercial

creditor

commercial and business

litigation advisory services

transactions. It is intended

and litigation.

to

enhance

knowledge

The new Steering Committee which will function as a working

He

additionally

said

that

group comprised experts from

ACTESA will continue to play its

World

Food

coordination role in advancing

(WFP),

International

COMESA’s

for Agricultural Development

aspiration

for

regional integration, economic

(IFAD),

growth and prosperity. Speaking

Organisation

on behalf of the partners, Ms

Traders

Programme,

Food

Fund

Agricultural

(FAO),

Grain

Association

of

Abla Benhammouche, Country

Zambia (GTAZ), Eastern and

and information exchange

In accordance with their

Director,

Southern Agribusiness Network

on

to

respective

for Agricultural Development

(ESAANET),

development

COMESA

(IFAD)

Warning

matters

sustainable in

Africa

relating

particularly

will

pursue

mandates, and

ALSAF

development

with regard to common

of synergies as well as

membership

International ,

expressed

Fund hope

Famine

Systems

Early Network

that working together would

(FEWSNET) Indaba Agricultural

strengthen the advocacy not

Research

just

COMESA

for

food

security

but

Institute

(IAPRI),

and the NEPAD

systems and mechanisms

nutrition as well as ensure better

Business Foundation (NBF). In

states legal resources and

of

livelihoods

capacities.

and knowledge exchange

of

African

on

information matters

of

sharing mutual

to page 4

and

addition, the committee will work

children. She further added that

together to ensure the success of

IFAD was happy to work with

hosting the Policy Seminar and

other partners in delivering and

follow up on progress.

for

women

COMESA weekly newsletter

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4

COMESA supports the

Karisimbi Climate observatory C the

involved

in

the

Rwanda

was

project. mandated

by COMESA Council of Ministers

to

spearhead

the implementation of the project. The

COMESA

Secretary

General has also engaged

OMESA

has

different potential donors

provided

US

including

Observatory

project. The grant comes

Hon. François Kanimba

after consultations between Rwanda’s

Minister

of

Education Dr Vincent Biruta COMESA

Africa

support the project.

Karisimbi

Climate

the

development bank (AfDB) to

$50,000 to support

Rwanda

and

ministries in Rwanda are

Secretary its European Union, Norway,

The

and DFID Climate Change

measurement installation and

revealed

supported programme. The

training is one phase towards

interest., ALSF will be the

this during a consultative

equipment was delivered in

the setting up of a world class

implementing agency with

meeting on the status of

April 2014.

climate observatory in East

regard to natural resources

and Southern Africa to be

management and contract

programmes with Rwanda’s

In addition COMESA has

based at the summit of the 4,507 metres Mt. Karisimbi.

negotiation

Minister

hired a German based expert

Industry, François Kanimba,

Dr

Once

in Kigali, on Monday, 19 May

to install the Aethalometer

the Mt Karisimbi Climate

2014.

and train technicians who

observatory

will be carrying out the

a region-wide centre for

The grant follows a proposal

actual

analysis.

climate data gathering and

submitted

Rwanda’s

Installation of the equipment

analysis that will feed into

Education

and training will be carried

national, regional and global

to

out in June this year. Dr

planning activities.

measurement

Rupakheti is the Team Leader

capacity building. This also

of Sustainable Interactions

The

included the purchase of an

with

Atmosphere

comprises

Aethalometer AE 33 carbon

(SIWA) at the Institute of

including:

measurement

Advanced

Observatory,

Integration

particularly with respect to

Air

debt management, natural

General, Sindiso Ngwenya. Mr

Ngwenya

implementation of COMESA

ministry to

of

Trade

by of

COMESA

carbon

related

and

instrument,

Maheswar

carbon

the

Rupakheti

Sustainability

upcoming

fully

carbon

African Legal Institute to support COMESA

operational, will

Karisimbi several

provide

another

The and

will

such

as

project

aiming at promoting and

pillars

strengthening legal expertise

Space

within

resources

day work.

have Rwandan technician’s

surveillance

understudy him to ensure

Management

industries

The initial work programme

knowledge

ATM);

worth US $50,000 will be

sustainability.

COMESA weekly newsletter

parties

activities

who will carry out the day-to-

traffic (CNS/

Broadcasting

and Cable-car system. A of

and

develop joint programmes

Communication, Navigation

number

COMESA

two

Rwandan technicians. He will

funded by COMESA through

signed

on 31 January 2014.

of

and

by

Western Australia, signed

Studies, Potsdam, Germany

transfer

MoU

between

and training of technicians

Air

covered

capacity building initiatives

Climate

COMESA

continued from page 3

Government

African

and

states

extractive

management,

infrastructure

and

contracting and investment agreements. COMESA weekly newsletter


COMESA and CABI discuss Agriculture innovative scientific solutions developed to solve some of the most

daunting

problems

in

agriculture and the environment. On her part, Ambassador El Hussainy, thanked CABI for their contribution towards the successful implementation of the COMESA AMPRIP programme that ended in 2009 and the current COMESA sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) programme . Ambassador

El

Hussainy

emphasized that COMESA is committed to the development

From Left: Amb. Nagla El Hussainy, Dr Trevor Nicholls, Martha Byanyima and Dr. Dennis Rangi

T

he Chief Executive Officer

collaboration

of

They

CABI,

Dr.

Trevor

Nicholls accompanied by the

met

with with

COMESA. the

of Agriculture, which is now a sizeable programme under

the environment.

the CAADP framework and

Acting

ACTESA.

Secretary General for Finance

In the area of plant biosecurity,

CABI Executive Director for

and Administration, Ambassador

CABI has a flagship programme

International

Nagla El Hussainy.

that has achieved significant

She

improvements in food security

partnerships

Development

Dr. Dennis Rangi, visited the Secretariat on 28 May 2014 and

further

explained with

that

technical

CABI is an inter-governmental,

and livelihoods by assisting

agencies such as CABI are

discussed further partnership in

not-for-profit organization that

millions of farmers in Asia and

key to unlocking the potential

agriculture.

was set up by a United Nations

Africa to access practical advice

of agriculture in the region.

treaty.

to

on how to deal with pests and

She

The two leaders revealed that

Their

mission

is

concluded

diseases that affect their crops.

on

by providing information and

Dr Nicholls observed that the

areas of collaboration such as

Southern Africa office, which

applying scientific expertise to

partnership

fertilizer, seed and value chain

solve problems in agriculture and

would expand the outreach of

soon

open

will be the spring board for closer

with

COMESA

explore

call

improve people’s lives worldwide

will

to

a

the

CABI

CABI

with

other

development.

TUSKON and COMESA Sign MoU

T Africa

he

Common

Market for Eastern and

Southern

COMESA

the

Confederation

of

Businessmen

Industrialists -

and

TUSKON

a

and

of

Turkey

have

signed

Memorandum

of

Understanding to cooperate in the promotion of business, trade

and

acknowledging Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya with TUSKON President Rizanur Meral after the signing an MoU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

investment the

strong to page 6

COMESA weekly newsletter

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6

TUSKON and COMESA ........ relationships

that

already

exist between COMESA and Turkey. The parties shall encourage industrial

and

technical

cooperation through joint production, joint ventures, common

exploitation,

transfer

of

technology,

contacts

and

any

activities

to

exchange

between

other

promote the

business community from COMESA member states and members of TUKSON. Secretary-General

Sindiso

Ngwenya signed on behalf of

COMESA

while

the

TUSKON President Rizanur Meral signed on behalf of his organisation at a function, which

was

held

at

the

African Union Commission headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 31st May 2014. And the

speaking

during ceremony

Confederation

of and

Industrialists of Turkey TUSKON President Rizanur Meral said the MoU will enhance and

the

cultural

technical cooperation

between Turkey and the COMESA weekly newsletter

COMESA region adding that

Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya assured the Turkish

there is need for exchange

investors of a vibrant and reasonable labor force unlike other

programmes

parts of the world where labor is very expensive and a market

that

will

enhance the collaboration.

spanning across 19 member states with a population of over 460 million people.

“We need to understand each other’s cultures first because

Ngwenya was however quick to point out that there will no

you cannot do business in

development at both regional and continental levels if the

an environment which you

private sector is not involved in the development agenda of the

don’t understand and this

world sighting the need for the investors to target the private

is therefore we brought our

sector.

Turkish businessmen to this

“As you come to Africa I wish implore you to encourage

region to coincide with the

the private sector of both parties to explore and expand the

international festival that is

opportunities in manufacturing, trade and investment in both

being hosted at this place”,

the COMESA region and Turkey and this should allow us to

Meral said.

exchange information and training programmes on regional and global trade in good and services”, Ngwenya said.

Meral

signing

Businessmen

TUSKON President Rizanur Meral exchange gifts with Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya.

added

that

the

cooperation is as a result of

The MoU among other things will establish linkages between

the Istanbul declaration on

COMESA Business Associations and TUSKON through

Africa-Turkey

partnership

Missions and Exchange visits of business delegations of both

under the theme “Solidarity

parties and support and encourage symposia, trade exhibitions,

and

trade and investments.

Partnership

Common

future

for

a

signed

during the first Africa-Turkey

The agreement shall also allow for the sharing of relevant

cooperation summit held in

market information, conduct business match-making and

Istanbul in august 2008.

facilitate the visiting business trade and investment missions to representatives of relevant industries.

Ecomesa newsletter 415 final  

This bulletin is published by the COMESA Secretariat Public Relations Unit but does not necessarily represent views of the Secretariat. For...

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