The Southern Times President Hifikepunye Pohamba signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) steering the direction of future co-operation between the Common Markets for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East Africa Community (EAC) and SADC.

The Namibian leader signed the agreement at State House on Wednesday, in his capacity as the current chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

King Mswati III of the Swaziland and President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania have already signed the MoU on behalf of COMESA and the EAC, respectively.

Pohamba, in remarks which he delivered shortly after he signed the MoU, said the agreement was negotiated and agreed upon by the Heads of State and Government belonging to the three regional economic communities at the Tripartite Summit held in Kampala, Uganda in 2008.

The MoU was also endorsed in 2009 at the SADC Summit held at Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

‘The objective of the MoU is to serve as a legal framework for enhancing cooperation and integration among the three regional economic communities, including in the area of trade and investment, infrastructural development, facilitation of movement of persons and cooperation in other policy areas for their mutual benefit and the benefit of their Member States,’ Pohamba explained.

The SADC chairperson said the implementation of the MoU would help to accelerate the integration agenda of the African Union (AU), considering that regional economic communities are the building blocks for the consolidation of the African integration process.

SADC Executive Secretary Dr Tomáz Augusto Salomão, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Hage Geingob, Foreign Affairs Minister Utoni Nujoma, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Peya Mushelenga and other senior government officials attended and witnessed the signing ceremony.

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