The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), a trade group of 20 countries, will hold its sixth summit May 22-23 in Cairo, the Egyptian president's office said Friday, April 6.
Several heads of state and other officials from the 20 members of COMESA will take part in the summit to look at "ways to expand cooperation in the fields of technology and trade," the office said, adding that business people from the countries will meet on the sidelines of the summit.
At the gathering, Mauritius will pass the acting chairmanship of COMESA to Egypt.
Founded in 1994, COMESA now has a population of 350 million people, with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of some $153 billion.
Last year nine countries — Djibouti, Egypt, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe — agreed to remove tariffs and look towards a single currency and common central bank by 2025.
The other members of COMESA are Angola, Burundi, the Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, the Seychelles, Swaziland and Uganda.
COMESA is distinct from COMESSA, or the Community of Sahel-Saharan States, a grouping of 16 African countries founded in 1998 by Libyan leader Moammar Kadhafi. — (AFP, Cairo)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)