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Sudan signs €2,9 million grant agreement with COMESA

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September 6, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese government on Tuesday has signed a grant agreement with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) enabling it to receive €2,9 million from the COMESA Adjustment Facility (CAF) between 2016 and 2017.

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Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir attends the opening ceremony of the 15th COMESA Heads of State and Government taking place in Lilongwe October 14, 2011 (AFP)

The agreement was signed by Sudan’s Minister of International Cooperation, Kamal Hassan Ali and COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya.

In May 2015, COMESA granted Sudan €1.2 million.

The funds are provided by the European Union under the 9th and 10th European Development Fund (EDF) to support implementation of regional integration programmes in the country.

Following the signing, Ali praised support that COMESA continued to render to Sudan since its inception in 1994, saying his government has met all COMESA requirements and indicators.

He pointed that Sudan has received €1,249,922 million in 2016, saying COMESA funding is allocated according to projects submitted by each member country and aimed to expand regional integration and promote private sector.

For his part, Ngwenya said COMESA would provide additional support for Khartoum particularly with regard to its endeavour to join the International Trade Organization (ITO).

He said that Sudan enjoys unique comparative advantages in the domains of agriculture, minerals and animal wealth which would enable it to join the ITO.

Sudan’s state minister of commerce al-Sadiq Mohamed Hassab al-Rasoul, for his part, pointed to the importance of the grant agreement, saying it would support Sudan’s capacity to promote its exports and enhance its competitiveness in the regional markets.

He added that Sudan has qualified to receive $1,3 million in 2018 to be allocated for the same purpose.

COMESA is a free trade area with twenty member states stretching from Libya to Swaziland. It was formed in December 1994, replacing a Preferential Trade Area which had existed since 1981. Sudan joined the market in 1990.

(ST)

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