THE Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) will construct a new secretariat at a cost of US$47 million on Great East Road in Lusaka.
The new state-of-the-art COMESA secretariat will be built on a four-hectare piece of land about two kilometres from the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport round-about and works are expected to start as soon as funds are available.
Speaking during the site visit yesterday, COMESA Secretary- General Sindiso Ngwenya said surveyors have already started works on the land.
Mr Ngwenya said COMESA was growing and it was important for the regional body to move to a bigger location because the secretariat in the central business district was becoming small.
“We will have a state-of-art secretariat, which will be near the airport and will be a magnet for other investment,” he said.
And COMESA Council of Ministers chairperson Ahmed Shide thanked Government for allocating a huge piece of land to the secretariat.
Mr Shide also thanked Government for hosting the COMESA secretariat.
“This project will ignite more investment opportunities as it will be bigger and will house other structures which will create other benefits,” he said. Mr Shide, who is Ethiopia’s state Minister of Finance and Economic Development, said the new secretariat would also strengthen the operations of COMESA.
Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe said Government was excited by the new site for COMESA.
Mrs Mwanakatwe said Government hoped to see more developmental activities at the site.
“We are grateful that our country has been given an opportunity to be the headquarters of COMESA,” she said.
Mrs Mwanakatwe said Zambia has accrued many benefits for hosting the COMESA secretariat and is hopeful that it will continue doing so in future.