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Cablegate: The Twelfth Summit of the Comesa Authority Of

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UNCLAS NAIROBI 003021

SIPDIS

AIDAC

AID/EAST AFRICA COLLECTIVE
STATE FOR AA/AFR, AFR/DP, AFR/SD, AFR/EA, AFR/EGAT/EG

SIPDIS

E.O.12958: N/A
TAGS: OTRA
SUBJECT: THE TWELFTH SUMMIT OF THE COMESA AUTHORITY OF
HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT. THEME: DEEPENING REGIONAL
INTEGRATION FOR DIVERSIFICATION AND VALUE ADDITION

SUMMARY:

1. This is a summary of the Twelfth COMESA Summit
proceedings held in Nairobi, Kenya, from May 22-23,
2007. The Summit was preceded by meetings of the
Committee of Experts, Ministers of Justice, Ministers of
Foreign affairs and COMESA Council of Ministers. The
Fourth COMESA Business Summit and the Fourth COMESA
First Ladies Roundtable were also held over the same
period.

2. The Authority adopted a common external tariff
structure, with raw materials and capital goods at a
tariff rate of zero percent, intermediate goods at ten
percent, and finished goods at twenty-five percent. The
Authority announced that COMESA will launch its Customs
Union on December 8, 2008. It also determined that the
COMESA Fund will support countries that experience
revenue losses from joining the Free Trade Area and/or
the Customs Union. The fund will also be used for
infrastructure development. The Summit directed the
Council of Ministers Chairperson to convene a summit
meeting between COMESA, the East African Community (EAC)
and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) in
order to agree on a convergence time table for the three
regional organizations? programs, in accordance with the
requirements of the African Union.

3. At the Summit, Zimbabwe was elected as Vice Chair of
the Authority and appointed to host the 2008 Summit.

4. This cable provides a list of participants at the
Summit (paragraphs 5 - 9), a summary of the opening
speeches (paragraphs 10-15), the final Summit communiqu
(paragraph 16-32), and additional contact details for
more information (paragraph 33).

ATTENDANCE:

5. The Summit was attended by the following COMESA Heads
of State and Government: Mr. Mwai Kibaki, President of
the Republic of Kenya, King Mswati III of the Kingdom of
Swaziland, Mr. Robert Gabriel Mugabe, President of the
Republic of Zimbabwe, Mr. Yoweri K. Museveni, President
of the Republic of Uganda, Mr. Meles Zenawi, Prime
Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia,
Mr. Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of
Djibouti, Mr. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of
Rwanda, Mr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, President of the
Republic of Zambia, Mr. Salva Kiir Mayerdit, First Vice
President of the Republic of Sudan, Dr. Martin
Nduwimana, First Vice President of the Republic of
Burundi, Mr Ikilou Nidhoime, First Vice President of the
Union of the Comoros.

6. The following Plenipotentiaries represented the Heads
of State and Government of the following COMESA
countries: Murlidhar Dulloo, Minister of Foreign Affairs
of the Republic of Mauritius, Ahmed Aboul-Gheit,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of
Egypt, Joyce Banda, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the
Republic of Malawi, Ali A. Triki, Minister for African
Affairs of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Marcel Ranjeva,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of


Madagascar, Gata Mavita Ignace, Minister of Regional
Integration of the Democratic Republic of Congo,
Jacquelin P. Dugasse, Minister of Investment, Industries
and Technology of the Republic of Seychelles, and
Stifanos Habte Ghebremariam, Head of the Delegation of
the State of Eriteria.

7. Numerous countries were represented by their Special
Envoys to COMESA. Ambassador Carmen Martinez led the
U.S. delegation to the summit. Other envoys to COMESA
were from France, Cuba, Italy, China, Russia, India,
Botswana, Germany, Sweden, and Japan.

8. The following representatives from international and
regional organizations participated in the deliberations
of the summit: Commissioner Dr. Maxwell Mkwezelamba of
the African Union, Ms. Anna K. Tibaijuka, Executive
Director of the United Nations Organization in Nairobi
(UNON), Ambassador Julius Onen, Deputy Secretary
General, East African Community (EAC), Ambassador
Liberta Mulamula, Executive Secretary of the
International Conference on the Great Lakes Region
(ICGLR), Mr. G. Onyango, Executive Secretary of the
Northern Corridor Transit Transport Coordination
Authority (NCTTCA), Mr. Charles M. Mbogori, Executive
Director, East African Business Council (EABC), and Dr.
Kandeh K. Umkella, Director General of the United
Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

9. The following represented the COMESA Institutions:
Honorable Nzamba Kitonga, President, COMESA Court of
Justice, Dr. Michael Gondwe, President, Eastern and
Southern Africa Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank),
Mr. Shadreck Lubasi, Managing Director, PTA Re-Insurance
Company (ZEP-Re), Dr. Kombo Moyana, Executive Secretary,
COMESA Clearing House, Dr. Geremew Debele, Director,
Leather and Leather Products Institute (LLPI), and Mr.
Peter Jones, Managing Director of the African Trade
Insurance Agency (ATI).

10. The following organizations were also represented:
the African Development Bank (ADB); the European
Commission (EC), the U.S. Agency for International
Development/East Africa (USAID/EA), World Bank,
Commonwealth Secretariat (COMSEC), Food and Agricultural
Organization (FAO), International Civil Aviation
Organisation (ICAO), Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the
International Labor Organisation (ILO), United Nations
Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the East African
Trade Hub (ECA Hub), Association for Strengthening in
Eastern and Southern Africa (ASERECA), the World Food
Program (WFP), Southern Africa Customs Union,
International Organisation for Migration (IOM), and the
International Organization of the Francophonie(IOF).

OPENING STATEMENTS:

10. In his speech, Mwai Kibaki, President of the
Republic of Kenya, expressed gratitude to Djibouti
President Ismail Omar Guelleh, for his contribution to
the COMESA regional agenda. Kibaki announced that the
Summit agenda included taking stock of the status of
COMESA regional integration agenda, reviewing the
implementation of the on-going projects and programs,


and assessing the progress achieved in the
implementation of the Djibouti Summit Declarations. He
emphasized the importance of the proposed Common
External Tariff structure, a cardinal requirement for
the launch of the COMESA Customs Union.

11. In the keynote address, the outgoing Chairman of the
COMESA Authority, President Guelleh, announced that the
launch of the COMESA Customs Union will be celebrated on
December 8th, 2008, in Harare Zimbabwe. President
Guelleh noted that Djibouti, as Chair of COMESA,
undertook consultations, immediately after the November,
2006 Summit, with member States that had not yet acceded
to the COMESA FTA. The outcome of these consultations
was that all COMESA non FTA member States had reaffirmed
their commitment to join the FTA at the earliest
opportunity.

12. President Guelleh noted that COMESA had achieved
success on the common external tariff structure for the
Customs Union by establishing a four-band system: 0
percent for capital goods, O percent for inputs, 10
percent for semi-finished goods, and 25 percent for
finished goods. He noted that the Council of Ministers
had come up with a Common External Tariff Structure
(CET), which meets the requirements of all COMESA
countries. President Guelleh then noted that an
important feature of this CET structure was that it
provided for "national policy space and flexibility on
specific and limited product lines for reasons of
competitiveness and revenue considerations." President
Guelleh stated that --taking into account that COMESA
member States had limited savings for investments--
contacts had been initiated with financial institutions
and private investors in the Gulf States, India, and
China to ensure enhanced foreign direct investment in
the region.

13. President Guelleh noted the need to urgently address
regional infrastructural challenges. He further observed
that it was common knowledge that COMESA ports, roads,
railways, telecommunications, and energy facilities had
to be redesigned to inter-connect COMESA countries.
They would require new investments as well as upgrades
to existing networks. President Guelleh announced that
COMESA Ministers responsible for Infrastructure had met
jointly and had devised a compendium of infrastructure
projects that require a total investment of USD 28
billion. He also indicated that Djibouti would be
willing to host the COMESA Fund.

14. President Guelleh informed the Summit participants
that the cooperation between COMESA, SADC, IGAD, EAC and
IOC, through the Inter-Regional Co-coordinating
Committee, had been positive. The Committee had made
progress toward convergence and the ultimate realization
of an African Economic Community under the African
Union. He observed that the joint COMESA, EAC and SADC
Task Force had also made considerable progress in
harmonizing common programs, thus avoiding duplication
of efforts and waste of scarce resources. He then
proposed that the COMESA members needed to reaffirm
their commitment to the convergence process of the
regional economic communities, at a political level, to


ensure the success of the harmonization efforts.

VOTE OF THANKS:

15. King Mswati III of Swaziland thanked President
Kibaki and President Guelleh for their encouraging
statements, which in his view had set the stage for the
deliberations of the Twelfth Summit. Mswati noted that
Kenya has been a key contributor to the integration
agenda of COMESA and further highlighted the importance
of economic integration as a tool for addressing the
challenges of development. He also affirmed that all the
Member States had been confident in the leadership of
President Mwai Kibaki during his tenure as Chairman of
COMESA.

THE FINAL COMMUNIQUE OF THE TWELFTH COMESA SUMMIT:

16. At the end of the Summit, the Heads of State and
Government released the following communiqu stating as
follows:

a) ELECTED by acclamation the Republic of Kenya as
Chairman, the Republic of Zimbabwe as Vice-Chairman and
the Republic of Djibouti as Rapporteur
b) NOTED with appreciation the Report of the Secretary
General on the State of Integration in COMESA
c) CONSIDERED AND ADOPTED the Reports of the Twenty
Third Meeting of the Council of Ministers and the Eighth
Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs
d) ENDORSED the recommendations of the Fourth COMESA
Business Forum and agreed on the need to strengthen
public and private sector partnership
e) ENDORSED the Communiqu of the Fourth Roundtable of
the First Ladies of the COMESA countries which took
place concurrently with the Twelfth COMESA Summit.

17. TRADE AND CUSTOMS DEVELOPMENT:

a) NOTED with satisfaction the rapid and sustained
growth in intra-COMESA trade in 2006 over 2005 and
COMMENDED member states for agreeing to remove the
remaining non tariff barriers
b) URGED all Member States not yet participating in the
Free Trade Area (FTA) to join the FTA before the launch
of the COMESA Customs Union on December 8, 2008
c) ADOPTED the COMESA Common External Tariff structure
of a four band category of raw materials, zero percent;
capital goods, zero percent; intermediate goods, ten
percent and final goods twenty-five percent, with the
provision for flexibility on policy space
d) DIRECTED that all the necessary technical work and
implementation modalities on the Common External Tariff
(CET) based on the UN classification system and other
related areas be finalized before the next Summit of
Heads of State and Government to ensure that the Customs
Union is launched on 8th December 2008
e) REAFFIRMED the commitment to launch the COMESA
Customs Union on 8th December 2008
f) DIRECTED all member States to implement the agreed
workings and processing for the Change in Tariff Heading
(CTH) origin conferring criterion
g) AGREED on the need to complete the program on Trade
in Services as its promotion has potential to enhance


growth of all the COMESA economies.

18. MONETARY AND FINANCIAL MATTERS:

a) CALLED upon member States who are yet to ratify the
COMESA Fund to do so, in order to enable them to benefit
from the Regional Development Fund
b) NOTED that the COMESA Fund was now in force and
STRESSED the paramount role to be played by the Fund as
one of the regional financial vehicles to receive all
development funding for COMESA from Aid for Trade,
Economic Partnership Agreement and other financial
assistance schemes
c) ENDORSED the establishment of a COMAid unit in the
COMESA Secretariat to undertake technical analysis and
prepare a coherent Aid for Trade compatible program to
access the available resources under the Aid for Trade
initiative for addressing trade-related infrastructure,
supply-side constraints and economic and social costs of
adjustment arising from the implementation of bilateral,
regional and multilateral trade agreements
d) CALLED on development partners to support an
ambitious COMESA Aid for Trade Program to be launched in
2007.

19. MULTILATERAL ISSUES:

a) NOTED that the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)
negotiations that were launched in 2004 between Eastern
and Southern Africa countries and the European Union had
made significant progress since the last Summit and are
expected to be concluded in December 2007
b) REAFFIRMED the importance of ensuring that EPA
should be a development tool to support ESA countries to
address the supply side constraints of the region as
well as improve ESA market access to the European Union
(EU)
c) RECALLED the commitment and the decision of EU
Council to provide additional resources for EPA
implementation and adjustment costs, taking into
consideration the regions development needs as spelt out
in the draft development matrix and urged that such
resources be adequate and be provided on a predictable
basis
d) WELCOMED the resumption of the WTO Doha Development
Agenda negotiations earlier this year
e) REITERATED that the WTO negotiation process should
be transparent, all-inclusive and open to all Members
f) STRESSED that the outcome of the WTO Doha
Ministerial Declaration (DDA) should meet the
development expectations of developing and least
developing countries, including COMESA Member States in
line with the letter and spirit of the Doha Ministerial
Declaration.

20. INFRASTRUCTURE:

a) COMMENDED the ongoing implementation of Joint Air
Transport Competition Regulations by the responsible
Ministers of COMESA, SADC and EAC and AGREED on the
speedy establishment of the Joint Competition Authority
b) URGED all Member States to implement the COMESA
trade and transit transport facilitation instruments so
as to enhance movement of transit and cross border


traffic
c) AGREED on the need for COMESA to develop a Model
Agreement for Railways Concessioning within the COMESA
region and on the need to facilitate the establishment
of a seamless rail transportation system in the COMESA
region
d) ACKNOWLEDGED the important role of Information
Communication and Technology (ICT) in social and
economic development and COMMENDED the ongoing regional
ICT Broad band initiatives
e) URGED Member States to allocate funds from the
national budgets as their contribution and commitment to
project implementation and REQUESTED Member States to
establish national Private Public Partnership units to
facilitate development of bankable projects
f) DIRECTED the Secretariat to establish a dedicated
Project Preparatory Facility with the mandate to prepare
bankable regional infrastructure projects and negotiate
with potential financiers supported by the project
steering Committees.

21. INFORMATION AND NETWORKING

a) URGED the Member states to pursue the adoption of
laws on e-legislation, including on Computer Crime and
Electronic Transactions

22. AGRICULTURE:

a) NOTED that the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural
Development Program (CAADP) was being implemented at
both the regional and national levels and urged Member
States to accelerate the rate of its implementation in
order to address issues for increased Agricultural
Production and Food Security in the COMESA region.
b) NOTED progress made in the implementation of the
Agricultural Marketing Promotion and Regional
Integration Project (AMPPRIP) and in particular, noted
that a region-wide and Web-based food and Agricultural
Management Information System (FAMIS) had been designed
and would soon become operational
c) COMMENDED Member States which had attained
Agricultural surplus, during the 2007/2008 marketing
season as a result of progressive policies and support
programs.

23. INDUSTRY:

a) URGED Member States to promote value adding
technologies and agro processing Industries as part of
the diversification of their economies
b) APPRECIATED that the Secretariat had, as directed by
the Djibouti Summit, commenced analytical work to
compile an inventory of productive and manufacturing
structures in all Member States in order to identify
existing and potential industries to supply the COMESA
Market
c) INSTRUCTED the Secretariat to undertake further
analytical work in full collaboration with Member States
d) URGED Member States to designate dedicated officers
to serve as National Focal Points for the compilation of
an inventory of the main industrial production and
manufacturing structures.


24. PRIVATE SECTOR DEVELOPMENT:

a) COMMENDED the COMESA Business Council and the Kenya
Association of Manufacturers for successfully convening
a Business Forum on the margins of the Summit to promote
Public Private Partnership
b) AGREED on the need for the Business Community and
other stakeholders to work closely with National
Governments in support of the regional integration
agenda
c) WELCOMED the increased participation of private
sector, NGO and Civil Societies entities in COMESA
Programs.

25. LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL:

a) ADOPTED the Investment Agreement for the COMESA
Common Investment Area and opened the Agreement for
signature by those States that are ready to sign the
Agreement
b) AGREED on the need to continue strengthening the
COMESA Court of Justice.

26. COOPERATION BETWEEN COMESA, OTHER REGIONAL ECONOMIC
COMMUNITIES AND THE AFRICAN UNION:

a) NOTED with satisfaction the enhanced collaboration
between COMESA and other regional organizations in
Africa particularly with EAC, IGAD and IOC in the
framework of the Interregional Coordination Committee
(IRCC) with the objective of achieving program
harmonization and convergence so as to expedite the
realization of the African Economic Community
b) COMMENDED the progress being made in the framework
of the Joint Task Force between COMESA, SADC and EAC to
discuss the coordination and harmonization of the
activities of the three institutions
c) MANDATED the Chairman of the COMESA Authority to
consult with SADC and EAC on the convening of a joint
Summit for the three Regional Economic Communities
(RECs)
d) AGREED that the acceleration of integration of
Africa can best be achieved through the adoption by all
Regional Economic Communities of Convergence criteria
for attaining continental integration under the
coordination of the African Union.

27. COOPERATION BETWEEN COMESA AND PARTNERS:

a) EXPRESSED APPRECIATION to the many cooperating
partners for their continued support to the
implementation of COMESA programs and APPRECIATED the
new partnership with the Cooperation Council of the Gulf
States (GCC).

28. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT:

WELCOMED the continued implementation of the COMESA
Gender Policy.

29. COMESA INSTITUTIONS:

NOTED with appreciation the operations of the COMESA
Institutions and their positive contributions to the


COMESA integration Agenda.

30. PEACE AND SECURITY:

a) REVIEWED the progress made so far in addressing
peace and security issues in the COMESA Region.
b) COMENDED COMESA Member States for their ongoing
efforts in addressing issues of peace and security in
the Common Market as well as the Continent as a whole
and URGED them to intensify their efforts in the search
for modalities for addressing issues of peace and
security as well as post conflict transformation issues
c) RECALLED the mandate adopted in their previous
Summits to focus on addressing the root causes of
conflicts in areas of comparative advantage for COMESA
in trade and investment to compliment the efforts of the
African Union Peace and Security Council and other sub
regional mechanisms
d) NOTED with satisfaction the participation of COMESA
as a building block of the African Union, in the
development and consolidation of the African Union Peace
and Security Architecture through the implementation of
Continental Peace and Security Programs such as the
Continental Early Warning and Response Mechanism as well
as the development of the Continental Policy on Post
Conflict Reconstruction and Development
e) CALLED on COMESA to mainstream its mandate in
conflict prevention in all trade and investment programs
to ensure that Economic Integration serves as a catalyst
for peace, security and stability as envisioned by the
designers of the COMESA Treaty
f) REAFFIRMED the continuous need to enhance solidarity
among Member States of COMESA through adherence to the
principles under which the COMESA Treaty was founded
such as the promotion of good governance, good
neighborliness and the resolution of conflicts through
dialogue
g) CONGRATULATED His Excellency President Joseph Kabila
of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for his
election to the High Office of the President of the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
h) CONGRATULATED His Excellency President Marc
Ravalomanana, on his re-election to the High Office of
the President of the Republic of Madagascar
i) COMMENDED AND CONGRATULATED the people and
governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
and Madagascar, for successfully holding peaceful
democratic elections
j) EXPRESSED APPRECIATION to COMESA Member States for
supporting the electoral processes in the two countries
by participating and supporting COMESA Electoral
Observer Missions to the elections
k) NOTED with appreciation the offer made by the
Government of the Republic of Zambia to assist the
Democratic Republic of Congo and other COMESA Member
States emerging out of conflicts in the establishment of
governance systems based on her past experience in
assisting some countries in the region
l) CALLED upon COMESA Member States and the wider
International Community to continue providing support to
the Democratic Republic of Congo and other COMESA Member
States in the Great Lakes Region towards consolidation
of peace and security as well as addressing issues of
post conflict transformation


m) CALLED upon COMESA Member States to work together in
organizing an Investment Conference for the Democratic
Republic of Congo as a contribution to the Post Conflict
Reconstruction and Development of the Country and the
Great Lakes Region as a whole
n) NOTED with appreciation the conclusion of the
Tripoli Consensus on the holding of peace talks on
Darfur and URGED all parties to the Conflict to utilize
this consensus in finding a political solution to the
conflict
o) CALLED upon the International Community to support
and strengthen AMISOM and address the humanitarian needs
of the civilian population in Somalia
p) COMMENDED the Government of the Republic of Uganda
for deploying Peacekeepers to Somalia and the Government
of Burundi in its readiness to deploy peacekeepers to
join AMISOM in Somalia.

31. CLOSURE OF THE SUMMIT:

31.1 Vote of Thanks:

a) Robert Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe
delivered what was to be a five minute ?Vote of Thanks?
but instead spent 45 minutes lashing out at ?foreign
powers? in general and epically at the UK, U.S., and the
EU. He focused on blaming the woes of the entire
continent on ?imperialism and colonial intervention?
instead of highlighting the main issues discussed by the
meeting such as the Customs Union and ongoing
negotiations with the European Union. Most of the
address was devoted to the political and economic
problems in Zimbabwe (all attributed to interference by
the UK and the U.S. along with distorted reporting by
the international press). Mugabe?s remarks received
applause from the audience. President Mugabe closed by
thanking the COMESA Secretariat for their excellent
support to the Summit and promising that the Summit in
Harare in 2008 would be just as successful.

31.2 Chairman?s Closing Statement:

a) In his closing statement, Kibaki stressed that
achieving and sustaining deeper integration at the level
of Customs Union required addressing the region's vast
rural and urban infrastructure requirements and
improving the investment climate.
b) He further emphasized the need to improve COMESA's
ability to produce value-added products for regional and
global markets in the agricultural and industrial
sectors. He underscored the need to pay attention to the
export of "products of the intellect." President Kibaki
then indicated that the key to this was human resource
development, particularly in science and technology.
c) President Kibaki stressed that stable political and
social conditions were necessary to nurture sustained
growth and integration. He noted that the number of
conflicts had dramatically reduced in the past three
years, thus, making it possible for COMESA to provide
undivided attention to finding lasting solutions to the
remaining conflicts. President Kibaki then indicated
that this Summit had in no small measure contributed to
the Africa Union efforts of re-establishing peace in the
few trouble spots in the COMESA region.

33. Key Contacts for more Information:

a) Visit COMESA at www.comesa.int
b) Stephanie Wilcock, Regional Trade Advisor, USAID
East Africa, Regional Economic Growth and Integration
Office; email: swilcock@usaid.gov.
c) Nzuki Mwania, Regional Trade Policy Specialist,
USAID East Africa, Regional Economic Growth and
Integration Office; email: nmwania@usaid.gov.

SLUTZ

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