NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 30 – President Mwai Kibaki will on Monday make a three day official visit to Swaziland to attend the 14th Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Summit of the Heads of State and Government.
The COMESA region is Kenya’s largest export destination. Last year Kenya exports to COMESA were worth Sh110 billion.
COMESA institutions based in Nairobi include the COMESA insurance institution- ZEP-RE, the COMESA Monetary Institute and the Regional Reference Laboratory, catering for plant protection. The headquarters of the PTA bank was located in Nairobi until 2009.
Kenya is also expected to hold a high-level conference for mobilization of resources for infrastructure development in the Northern Corridor in October this year.
The 14th COMESA summit will examine, among other things, developments on the regional integration agenda, including progress towards full implementation of the Comesa Customs Union, the tripartite cooperation between Comesa-East African Community-Southern African Development Community, and how the region can enhance the use of science and technology for the benefit of its people.
During the Summit, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe is scheduled to hand over the Chairmanship of COMESA to His Majesty King Mswati III.
This year’s COMESA Summit theme is ‘Harnessing Science and Technology for Development’.
COMESA, whose current membership stands at 19 countries with a combined population of 389 million people, has an annual import bill of US$ 32 billion against an export bill of US$82 billion. To spur growth, COMESA’s strategy is economic prosperity through regional integration.
The plane carrying President Kibaki and his delegation departs Jomo Kenyatta International Airport shortly before midday.
President Kibaki is accompanied by Cabinet Ministers Moses Wetangula and Chirau Ali Makwere and the High Commissioner to Zambia who is also the Permanent Representative to COMESA Amb. Dr Kipyego Cheluget.