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COMESA among five regions to benefit from EU funding

EU-FLAGS-HQNAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 18 – The COMESA region is one of five areas set to benefit following the signing of a technical cooperation facility worth 4.5 million Euros by the European Union. This is equivalent to Sh507,059,836.

Other communities to benefit include Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), East African Community (EAC), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC).

In a statement from the COMESA Secretariat, the facility is to support implementation of regional integration programmes in the Eastern Africa, Southern Africa, and India Ocean region.

Broken down, COMESA will receive €1,525,000, EAC €1,525,000, SADC €1,615,000, IGAD 1,435,000 and IOC 900,000.

“Out of this amount, 600 million euros will be used for blending and leveraging of funds to enable implementation of regional infrastructure projects while 205 million euros will be used for selected cross-regional actions,” reads the official statement.

Additionally, 450 million euros will be for the specific envelopes of COMESA, EAC, IGAD, IOC and SADC. COMESA is expected to receive Euro 85 million.

The Head of the European Delegation to Zambia and Special representative to COMESA Ambassador Alessandro Mariani and COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya signed the agreement.

The funds are part of an overall kitty of 1.3 billion euros provided by the European Union under the eleventh European Development Fund Regional Indicative programme for the Eastern Africa, Southern Africa, and India Ocean region signed in June 2015.

“It is not an understatement that without the support of the EU the achievements made by COMESA in regional integration would have been less than optimal,”Mr Ngwenya said.“COMESA already has a framework to ensure that we deliver time bound results and demonstrate value for money for this facility.”

COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya, when welcoming the facility said that COMESA already had a framework to ensure that it delivers time bound results and demonstrate value for the money.

“It is not an understatement that without the support of the EU the achievements made by COMESA in regional integration would have been less than optimal,” Ngwenya said.

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