COMESA signs private sector deal with AMSCO

Lusaka development Zambia COMESAThe private sector across the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is set for a major boost following the signing of a development agreement between the regional economic community and the African Management Services Company (AMSCO)

The bloc’s secretary general Sindiso Ngwenya and AMSCO regional manager Abraham Lanor signed the deal on behalf of their institutions on 18 July 2013 in Zambian capital Lusaka (pictured).

AMSCO committed itself to providing training programmes to strengthen project support for private sector development across the COMESA member states.

AMSCO is a special purpose vehicle established by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in the Netherlands, with the aim of serving as the operational unit of African Training and Management Services (ATMS) projects.

Lanor said his organisation was pleased to sign the agreement with COMESA as it would provide a platform for it to support economic development through the private sector.

"We have been waiting for this opportunity for some time. This agreement now makes it possible for us to get close to regional economic communities that have the mandate to promote regional integration through private sector driven economic development," he pointed out.

Ngwenya cited numerous challenges that COMESA faced in the development of the private sector, including the lack of support to programmes and projects being undertaken by private sector in member countries.

Ngwenya remarked, "There is an apparent lack of skills among entrepreneurs in SMEs and this has adversely affected the achievement of the standards that the market requires."

"The signing of the agreement marks an important step towards support for the private sector which COMESA undertakes key programmes in the region such as the leather and leather products, textile and garments and the agro processing sector," he added.

Nawa Mutumweno


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