Mwangi Gakunga, Own Correspondent
THE Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Secretariat has prepared a scaled-down budget for 2021 to leverage on information technology in carrying out its activities.
The decision was informed by the performance of this year’s budget, which recorded significant savings under meetings, workshops and conferences, which constitutes a significant percentage of the expenditure.
The adoption of virtual meetings was occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Secretariat now intends to continue harnessing the power of information technology through virtual meetings. In the proposed budget for 2021, which will be presented to the 41st meeting of the Council of Ministers tomorrow, the Secretariat proposes a reduction of at least US$1 million from the current budget.
The benefit will be passed on to member States’ governments in their annual subscriptions to the regional trading organisation.
Speaking during an address to delegates attending the 41st meeting of the Comesa administrative and budget committee, Secretary General Chileshe Kapwepwe said:
“In adjusting the 2021 budget downwards, the Secretariat, its institutions and the Comesa Court of Justice took cognisance of the economic challenges that our member States are facing”.
She thanked member States, which remitted their annual contributions and arrears to the Secretariat during the year despite the numerous economic challenges they faced.
“This demonstrates the confidence bestowed upon us in the delivery of Comesa’s mandate,” she added.