VICTORIA, Mahé – A Seychelles delegation led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Jean Paul Adam is attending the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) 28th Policy Organs meetings and the 14th Heads of State and Government Summit, taking place next week in Mbabane, Swaziland. These meetings regroup the 19 heads of state of Eastern and Southern Africa, or their designated representatives, to discuss the major issues of concern for the region.
The COMESA Summit will examine, among other things, developments in the regional integration agenda, including progress towards the full implementation of the COMESA Customs Union, the tripartite cooperation between COMESA-EAC and SADC, and how the region can enhance the utilization of science and technology for the betterment of its people. All the 19 COMESA Member States are expected to be represented.
Regional security will also feature high on the summit’s agenda and the Seychelles delegation will make use of the opportunity to reiterate concerns on the issues of piracy in the Indian Ocean. Seychelles has already developed a national plan to combat piracy and other maritime threats (the Seychelles Comprehensive Maritime Security Plan of Action) and many of its elements depend on enhancing regional mechanisms.
The delegation being led by Minister Adam includes Seychelles High Commissioner in Pretoria, Ambassador Joseph Nourrice; First Secretary for the Seychelles High Commission in South Africa, Mr. Kenneth Racombo; Director for Trade for the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Ziyaad Ebrahim; and Economist with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hansel Confiance.
Vice-President Danny Faure is also expected to join the Seychelles delegation later next week in time for the culminating COMESA Summit.
COMESA is primarily an economic development organization involving cooperation in economic, infrastructure and trade sectors. It is one of the fastest-growing economic blocks in Africa. The current member countries include Burundi, Comoros, D.R. Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Libya, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The Seychelles Comprehensive Maritime Security Plan of Action (SCMSPA) is a result of a multi-sectoral consultation process to effectively and sustainably respond to concerns over the vulnerability of the Seychelles Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The plan was discussed with regional and international partners at Piracy Symposium recently hosted in Seychelles in July this year.