The members of the COMESA Business Council (CBC) met for the 7th CBC Annual General Meeting (AGM) from the 9th to 10th October 2017. The event was preceded by the 10th CBC Board of Directors meeting from the 7th to the 8th of October 2017. The meetings were held at the Raddison Blu, Lusaka, Zambia and had the participation of 30 Business leaders; presidents, executives of private sector Associations from 14 COMESA countries.
The AGM is an annual gathering for all the members of the COMESA Business Council which provides a platform of engagement for the private sector to identify and adopt strategies to ensure the inclusiveness of the private sector within regional integration, and promote the competitiveness of the various industries.
The Board Meeting deliberated on the CBC Strategic Plan for 2018-2022, mapping the strategic direction for the institution in terms of various agendas; policy, business facilitation, enterprise and institutional development. Speaking at the Opening of the Annual General Meeting, Dr. Amany Asfour stressed the need to focus on creating a sustainable institution that is able to promote the growth of inclusive and sustainable industries that will result into a competitive private sector within COMESA region and global markets. The meetings adopted the CBC Annual Report for 2017 and the Annual Work plan for 2018.
A technical meeting was also held on the sides of the AGM, where the private sector adopted the various positions that they will table before the COMESA policy organs meetings as part of the institutional report of the COMESA Business Council. The positions cover positions of several industries; agro industry, manufacturing, ICT, and Tourism. Such positions include; the need for development of a legal framework for the COMESA Business Visa, use of ICT’s and smart technologies to improve industrialization, strengthening the regulation and enforcement frameworks against the marketing and sale of fake seed and ensuring the harmonization of standards at regional level.