Comesa bank chiefs laud regional growth


Governors of central banks in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) member states have appreciated the 6.6 percent average growth performance of the region and emphasized that such growth should be sustained and be inclusive.

In their twentieth meeting that ended on November 27, 2014, in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the governors emphasized the importance of policies that stimulate demand and trade within the region.

According to a report of the meeting by the Director of Comesa Monetary Institute (CMI), Ibrahim Zeidy, the governors underscored the importance of laying a solid foundation in the medium term for a fully-fledged inflation targeting framework, in order to make the region a zone of macroeconomic stability.

“Volatility in exchange rates tend to impact on trade and subsequently on output, inflation, FDI and the investment climate in general,” they noted.

In his address to the meeting Secretary General of Comesa, Sindiso Ngwenya, underlined the need for speedy implementation of the Regional Payment and Settlement System (REPSS).

“I want to urge all member central banks to expeditiously use REPSS for payment for their intra-Comesa transactions as it will significantly contribute to the expansion of intra Comesa trade,” he said.

His address covered strategic issues of the Comesa integration agenda, including the removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers, progress report on Comesa Free Trade Area, progress report on tripartite arrangement, trade promotion and facilitation, strategies to move to high value addition to export products, Comesa industrial policy and Comesa activities related to extractive industries.

Ngwenya emphasised the importance of member countries to get a greater share of resource rents from extractive industries and underscored the Comesa Monetary Co-operation programme that would make trade and investment easy and inexpensive.

He, therefore, emphasised that member countries should intensify the process of macroeconomic convergence and intermediation in the region.

The Committee of Governors of Central Banks also reviewed the activities that were undertaken by the Comesa Monetary Institute (CMI) and Comesa Clearing House (CCH) for enhancing monetary cooperation in the region and making the region a zone of macroeconomic and financial stability.

These activities included the outcome of workshops, trainings and research activities which were undertaken by CMI and activities undertaken by CCH for the operationalisation of the Regional Payment and Settlement System (REPSS).

They also deliberated on challenges in the disbursement of loans by commercial banks in the region. 

They agreed that an Action Plan proposed by the Central Bank of Congo should be used as inputs into the existing Comesa Financial System Development and Stability Plan which was adopted by the Comesa Committee of Governors of Central Banks in 2009. – Comesa

December 2014
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