Zimbabwe last week attended the African Trade Insurance (ATI) annual general meeting as a fully fledged member following its admission into the agency last month. To join the agency Zimbabwe got a credit of $10 million from the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank and five million dollars from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The AGM was held on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund/World Bank meetings in Washington.
“While Zim had attended ATI meetings since 2009 this is the first time we attended as a fully fledged member. In previous incidents Zimbabwe attended as an observer,” Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha told The Herald Business.
ATI is a creation of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and has contributed immensely to the development of those African countries who are fully-fledged members. He said annual general meetings are normally held in African countries and once in a while in Washington because multilateral institutions are also shareholders in the ATI.
In addition, top decision making organs of Comesa are also scheduled to begin meetings today in Antananarivo, Madagascar ahead of the 19th Heads of State Summit on October 18-19, 2016. Top on the agenda will be discussions on how to address challenges that member states face in domesticating decisions taken by the Council of Ministers on the implementation of Comesa regional integration programmes at the national and regional levels.
Hosted under the theme “Inclusive and sustainable industrialisation,” the debate will also address the productive constraints that inhibit inclusive and sustainable transformation of the region; from low productivity economies that rely on export of unprocessed primary commodities with either little or no value addition, to high competitive economies that produce and export value added products.
The leaders and experts will review the status of market integration in the region with a focus on how member states are implementing the Comesa Free Trade area. Currently, 16 out of the 19 member states have joined the FTA with DR Congo being the latest to enlist mid this year. Comesa is a regional economic community established by treaty in 1994.
It brings together 19 member states with a population of over 400 million into a co-operative framework for sustainable economic growth and prosperity through regional integration.