Bank Group President Attends COMESA’s Summit

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Bank Group President, Donald Kaberuka, attended the 13th Summit of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) which was held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, from June 7-8, 2009. The event was marked by the launch of the COMESA customs union.  The summit was attended by nine heads of state and government as well as two vice presidents. Mr Kaberuka delivered an important statement on Bank Group operations in COMESA countries and prospects for future cooperation between the Bank and countries of the region.  COMESA, which comprises 19 countries with a total population of 400 million, was established in 1994 as a successor to the Preferential Trade Area (PTA), which was set up in 1981.  Today, 14 of COMESA’s 19 member states are members of its Free Trade Area (FTA).  Under the Customs Union, officially launched on June 7, COMESA member countries will adopt a common external tariff (CET) and will harmonize their customs legislation, regulations and procedures.