The CBC members of the Board convened in Lusaka, Zambia this week for the 2023 – 2025 Strategy Planning Meeting, and the 19th meeting of the Board of Directors.
“Your presence here is a demonstration of your passion and dedication towards advancing and promoting the interests of the business community and ultimately, regional integration and sustainable economic development across the COMESA Region,” said Mr. Marday Venkatasamy, CBC’s President, in his opening remarks at Strategy Planning Meeting held on Tuesday, 17th January 2023.
The meeting was aimed at mapping out strategic initiatives for the institution to advance over the course of the next three years; ensuring that enterprise-level plans are translated into actionable plans for the various business units; and aligning employees’ competency development plans with CBC’s overall strategic objectives.
CBC’s President, Mr. Venkatasamy, highlighted the institution’s major successes over the past ten years, the challenges faced, and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead. “On an international front, there is strong political will for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Africa with particular interest in the pharmaceutical industry, agribusiness, green energy, and digital trade, among others. These opportunities, leveraged by the COMESA private sector, will spur regional and global trade, and also bring a new wave of industrialization,” he stated.
The meeting was a precursor to 19th meeting of COMESA Business Council Board of Directors, which was held the following day on Wednesday, 18th January 2023. It was attended by Presidents of national apex private sector Associations and Chambers of Commerce from the COMESA region, including Mr. Mucai Kunyiha from the Kenya Association of Manufacturers; Mr. James Chimwaza from the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry; Hon Dr Eng Sherif El Gabaly from the Federation of Egyptian Industries; Dr. Amany Asfour from the Egyptian Businesswomen’s Association; Dr. Tinashe Manzungu from the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce; Mr. Issa Sekitto from the Private Sector Federation of Uganda; Eng. Melaku Ezezew from the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations; and Mr. Teddy Soobramanien, the CBC Chief Executive as Secretary to the Board. Representing Ms. Chileshe Kapwepwe, the COMESA Secretary General, an ex officio member of the Board, the meeting was also attended by Amb. Dr. Kipyego Cheluget, the COMESA Assistant Secretary General – Programs.
Amongst the key items on the agenda was review of the 2022 Progress Report, which followed adoption of upcoming activities highlighted in the 2023 Annual Workplan. The meeting also identified operational priorities for working together with National Focal Points in 2023, and explored ways of aligning the institution’s activities towards delivering enhanced value to CBC’s members.