Zambia, Zimbabwe pilot COMESA industrialisation project

APA-Lusaka (Zambia)

Zambia and Zimbabwe are piloting a Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) project to strengthen the capacity of industrialists in the region to actively participate in the African Continental Free Trade Area, APA learnt here on Monday.

COMESA secretary general Chileshe Kapwepwe said the two southern African neighbours recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to implement a joint industrialization project that seeks to promote self-sustained, balanced and inclusive economic growth between the two countries.

The project is expected to “provide opportunities for the private sector to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Area through enhanced competitiveness.”

“Once successful the pilot project will be upscaled to other member states in the region,” Kapwepwe said on Monday.

She said success of the project would enable the two countries to achieve inclusive and sustainable economic transformation through industrialization.

The project is expected to result in high private sector participation, effective utilization of the public private partnership framework, effective coordination and enhanced investment in science, technology and innovation.

The COMESA region comprises 21 member states with a population of over 583 million and gross domestic product of US$800 billion.

Geographically, COMESA covers almost two thirds of the African continent with an area of 12 million square kilometres.


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