Malawi has ended her year-long tour of duty as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa- COMESA chair with Uganda assuming the post.

However Malawi, a land locked southern African country, will still be in the COMESA bureau, a decision making body of the regional bloc, as a rapportour.

During her term as chair, Malawi focused deepening regional integration and creating competitive business climates in the region as pillars to spur economic growth and transformation.

On the other side, despite being a COMESA member, Uganda will for the first time also enter the Free Trade Area – FTA – regime of the regional trade bloc.

The Country’s President Yoweri Museveni will chair the 19-member trade bloc for the next one year.

As chair, Uganda will also have the opportunity to influence discussions and decisions especially on trade related matters.

In his address, Museveni called for further integration between African countries in trade.

With 19 member states and a combined population of about 390 million, the COMESA trade bloc remains one of Malawi’s most important trade partners.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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