COMESA Regional Integration Projects are the Road to Regional Integration

Khalda Alyas

COMESA has executed many programs and projects that aim at establishing the concept of regional integration in the region of COMESA countries in addition to many roads projects that link the region as well as projects that aim to freeing air space in COMESA region in the framework of COMESA agreement which started as a preferential zone in 1986 that aims at establishing a free trade zone between the member countries to become a custom union and afterwards a common market , then the agreement took its current form in December 1994. Sudan accessed the agreement in August 1990 , the agreement is comprising nearly 19 African countries.
Sudan is an effective mean for the success of the economic and regional integration as it is endowed with many advantages represented in its geographic location surrounded by a number of landlocked countries and this is one of the basic pillars of establishing successful free zones whereby they are considered a platform for launching manufactured products and the commodities coming from all parts of the world heading towards these countries while the free zones will have a big role of promotion of the Saudi products known for their high quality as well as the Arab products and commodities to be launched across Sudan to all neighborhood countries constituting a regional breakthrough that reaches the sites of COMESA member countries that have busy ,markets (400) million persons either domestic, border or joint markets.
The traffic of trade exchange with west African countries top of which are Chad, Ethiopia and South Sudan represents a real indicator for commercial integration as well as the industries coming from Arab countries and Saudi Arabia region which will be indigenized in the Sudanese markets particularly the border ones with any amount of value added which will find their way to COMESA countries with customs duties (zero tariff)
A document was signed for the project of supporting Sudan as part of the program of supporting the integration of the region by allocating a sum of one mullion and two hundred thousands Euros and this project is considered a kick off for adapting Sudan’s program with COMESA and considering it a BASIC pillar for implementing the five year program of economic reform in the country which aims at upgrading the Sudanese exports and their accession to the international markets. .
In September 2016 the amended document of Sudan’s project related to the regional integration was signed in the framework of COMESA which is financed by the European union ,
Sudan has become qualified to obtain a sum of 1.3 million dollars allocated for the year 2018 for the same purpose.
In addition to the major agricultural project of the comprehensive agricultural development in Africa and it was expected that Sudan will benefit from it by a sum of 50 million Dollars with regards to the investment map of this project.
Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce Usama Hashim has affirmed the importance of Sudan’s participation in the regional blocs and afterwards adapting COMESA projects with the national programs and strategic targets of the states and the state reform programs that require Sudan’s participation in the international and regional organizations
He highlighted the visit of the secretary general of COMESA Secretariat which came for the purpose of maximizing the benefit from COMESA projects and getting acquainted with the program of regional integration at the Ministry of Commerce in Sudan and what was implemented in these projects along with looking into Sudan’s demand of extending the timeline of the project for an extra six months and the benefit of Sudan from COMESA projects in Sudanese exports accession to the COMESA neighborhood countries particularly meat and leather.
Sudan has benefited from the funding of developing leather and leather industries in COMESA and the center of developing leather industries in Sudan whereby a sum of 3.3 million Dollars was allocated for Sudan towards the programs of the added value of leather industry and Sudan is one of the beneficiary countries from the institute in different spheres like the project of upgrading and pricing leather to the value of one million Dollars and the institute held a workshop in Sudan on combating leather diseases and the training program in leather technology and shoes industry to the value of 520196 Dollars.
Training in the field to the value of 368595 US Dollars
The former secretary general of COMESA Secretariat at the ministry of commerce Hashim Fatahala Khalid the consultant at the leather council of Khartoum State elaborated that the regional integration is initialized by COMESA secretariat in Zambia for supporting regional merger between the COMESA-member countries and facilitating trade exchange by documents between member countries with the aim of promoting the different economic and trade sectors.
He outlined that in the council of Khartoum state for leather we accord attention to the leather sector in the state and the fruits of this mechanism started to appear in training the personnel of leather in Khartoum and the other states in north and west Kurdufan , Port-Sudan, and the Red Sea State with the aim of developing and upgrading leather sector in general and the mall-scale and medium scale industries in particular.
He noted that Karari center was allocated under a decision from the Minister of Industry and Trade of Khartoum State to be dedicated for leather sector comprising all the activities related to this industry while a production compound will be established comprising all the accessories related to this industry for reducing the productive cost and urging the personnel working in this field to participate in the domestic and external fairs and linking them with the importers in the countries of the region and the other European countries . the center was allocated for training and holding training courses . in the dawn of the year 2019 we have a plan for upgrading the export sector and we can say that as a result of this ten slaughterhouses with up to date specifications were authorized in Al Geili city on an area 1800 square kilometers part of it for leather industry , slaughterhouses and tanneries for shoes factory and all the other activities.
Fatahalla affirmed that Sudan is the biggest country in terms of possession of animal resources and Sudanese people consumption of meat a matter which increases the amount of leather while there are 17 operating tanneries in Khartoum north out of a total of 26 tanneries and they are now rehabilitated a matter which avails for the shoe factories and the medium scale and small scale industries thus after completing these tanneries there will be semi halt of importing ready manufactured leather from abroad. Ready made leather for manufacturing.
He noted that recently a number of workers were trained in the institute via the project on the course of readiness for export whereby the trainees will be acquainted with the method of export and manufacturing in conformity with the conditions and standards , participating in fairs , exploring markets and concluding contracts for export and benefiting via their preparations for export operations.

The European Union and COMESA have also signed a financing agreement to the value of ten million Euros for supporting the private sector in COMESA-member countries towards increasing the participation of the private sector in the sequence of the regional and international value that focuses on agricultural processing , horticulture , leather and leather products,

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