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Kalaba stresses importance of regional integration

MINISTER of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba. PICTURE: MACKSON WASAMUNU

KABANDA CHULU, VIOLET MENGO, Lusaka
REGIONAL integration is the right strategy for ensuring the success of the agenda 2063 that is aimed at overcoming the constraints of high fragmentation of African economies and preventing the occurrence of transnational conflicts and threats, Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba has said.
And Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) deputy secretary-general Nagla El-Hussainy yesterday challenged member states to expedite national domestication of the agenda 2063 that guarantees the unity of purpose.
Speaking at the African-joint coordination meeting held to discuss the regional dimensions of the 10-year implementation plan of Agenda 2063, flagship projects, roles and capacities, Mr Kalaba said national strategies for economic transformation must be substantiated and complemented by strong regional policies.
“Regional integration increases the potential for the creation of regional value chains and it also increases efficiency. This in turn will enable the continent to become a key player in global value chains, which increasingly characterises world trade today,” he said.
Mr Kalaba said Zambia is committed to the success of the African Union (AU) agenda 2063 and the post-2015 development agenda.
“These development agendas represent landmark undertakings, which if implemented to their full potential, will positively influence the future of our continent so regional integration is the right strategy,” he said.
And African Development Bank (AfDB) director for regional integration, trade and development Moono Mupotola said the agenda 2063 is ambitious and its challenges are enormous.
“But by working together, we can leverage all of our specialisations and complementarities. Also critical will be the role of member states, especially in meeting their obligations in a number of areas,” she said.
Earlier Ambassador El-Hussainy said there is need to strengthen capacities in the implementation of programmes and synergise efforts to deliver as one.
“We also need to enhance collaboration and cooperation among regional economic communities under the coordination of the African Union.
“But most importantly is that real implementation of the continental and regional programmes should be done by member states, therefore it is critical that due consideration is given to national domestication of the agenda 2063,” she said.






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