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Minister Maneesh Gobin Attends The COMESA 44th Council Of Ministers Meeting In Lusaka

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Honourable Maneesh Gobin, attended the COMESA 44th Council of Ministers which was held on Thursday 23 November 2023 in Lusaka, Zambia.

Minister Maneesh Gobin participated as the Vice Chairperson of the session, which was conducted under the chairmanship of Honourable Mr. Charles Milupi, Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development of Zambia.

The main agenda items discussed included the development of a Gender Management System to ensure the engagement of men/boys in the promotion of gender equality.

The COMESA has developed the 50 Million African Women Networking Platform to facilitate trade for women entrepreneurs to access information on financial and non-financial services. The online platform was launched in Mauritius in 2021.

The meeting also looked into the feasibility study on the establishment of a regional shipping line in view to foster intra-regional trade and build regional supply chains.

Maneesh Gobin Attends The COMESA 44th Council Of Ministers Meeting In Lusaka

COMESA Ministers deliberated on the establishment of a Health Desk to strengthen public health and the strengthening of the pharmaceutical industry through strengthened regulatory bodies, quality control, and management systems.

The COMESA 44th Council of Ministers also discussed the further deployment of the East African Power Pool (EAPP), which is a specialised institution of COMESA, specialising in electrical power. The EAPP has the mandate to undertake power system planning at regional level taking into consideration the national plans and ensuring that mechanisms for power trade within the region are developed and implemented.

A regional platform for power trading is expected to be established and operationalised with the support of the World Bank. Bilateral trading between some landlocked countries has already started.

Mauritius will host the SADC Regional Transmission Infrastructure Financing Facility as from 2024, which will channel funding towards priority regional transmission projects. The Facility is also expected to provide long-term finance for private sector investment in the renewable energy sector and in infrastructure.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade has, on the margins of the COMESA 44th Council of Ministers, interacted with the Honourable Dr Sithembiso Nyoni, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Zimbabwe, the COMESA Secretary General, Mrs Chileshe Mpundu, the Assistant Secretary General of the COMESA, Dr Dev Haman, and the COMESA Assistant Secretary General for Programmes, Dr Mohamed Kadah.

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