The COMESA Business Council (CBC) organised its Strategic Planning Meeting, coupled with the 19th meeting of the CBC Board of Directors in Lusaka on 17 January 2023.
In his speech, Mr Marday Venkatasamy, Chairman of the CBC, highlighted the crucial role of the CBC as one of the strongest private sector institutions on the African Continent.
“The CBC has played a lead role in advocacy in COMESA. It has developed and advocated for various positions through its workgroups and public-private sector dialogues, on issues relating to the pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and agroindustry sectors, which have been lobbied for at the highest levels of policymaking in COMESA to influence an enabling business environment”, said the Chairman of the CBC. He further recalled the various cooperation agreements the CBC has developed with partners over the years, which has given rise to new innovative programmes.
Talking about trade within the COMESA region, Mr Marday Venkatasamy, while acknowledging an increase, indicated that many non-tariff barriers still exist.
“The CBC has been active in COMESA Policy Organs meetings, but we need to amplify our actions at various levels, including globally with a range of stakeholders to defend and promote the interest of the COMESA business community. The CBC management needs to work closer with its Board Members and its National Focal Points so that pertinent and contemporary issues and challenges can be identified and addressed upfront”, said Mr Marday Venkatasamy.
Caption: (from left to right)
Standing: Mr. Melaku Ezezew CBC Board Director (Ethiopia); Mr. Issa Sekitto, CBC Board Director (Uganda); and Mr. Tinashe Manzungu, Board Director (Zimbabwe)
Seated: Mr Teddy Yagambaram Soobramanien, CBC Chief Executive Officer; Dr. Amany Asfour, CBC immediate Past President; Amb. Kipyego Cheluget, COMESA Assistant General for Programs (Kenya); Mr. Marday Venkatasamy, CBC President (Mauritius);Mr. Mucai Kunyiha, CBC First Vice President (Kenya); and Mr. James Chimwaza, Second Vice-President (Malawi)