Burundi, Feb 5 – Burundi is ready and set to host the upcoming 20th Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) summit, according to the free trade area’s Secretary General.
The landlocked country will be delighted to host the mega event that will be graced by the presence of prominent men and women from far and wide.
The country welcomed Sindiso Ngwenya, who jetted into the state in the previous week to check on the progress of the country’s preparation for the conference. He had earlier backed the East African country on its qualifications to host the meeting that will showcase a better future for the country.
The summit that is scheduled to take place from 18th to 19th of April this year will be preceded by a meeting by Ministers of Foreign Affairs. Ngwenya had visited the nation of Burundi to finalize the preparations, as understood by journalists.
In February 2014, following the 17th COMESA Summit hosted by DRC in its capital, the member of states agreed to let Burundi hold the 20th Summit. Earlier plans to host the summit were not fruitful as the country had not met the qualifications to host the conference.
As explained by Ngwenya, the proposal to let Burundi host the event was an initiative to give members of states that are part of the COMESA an equal chance to feel part of the bloc by gracing the mega event. Their role is to ensure that everything is set and in order for a successful event to take place.
This is an opportunity for the tourism sector to boost its numbers especially in hotel and accommodation.
Ngwenya added his tour to the country was to offer support needed and ensure the country is ready for the visitors. He hailed the preparations by the country by setting ready the hotels where the guests would be resting.
In addition to that, he added that Tunisia will be added as the 20th Member State of COMESA in the event.
He expects Somalia to make a return to the bloc as the country is one of the founder members of Preferential Trade Area (PTA). The re-joining of Somalia will take the tally to 21.
In 2008, COMESA agreed to an expanded free trade zone including members of two other African trade blocs, the EAC and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).