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COMESA receives $2 million from Saudi Arabian government for construction of its new headquarters

COMESA receives $2 million from Saudi Arabian government for construction of its new headquarters

The Government of the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has donated $ 2million towards the construction of a new permanent headquarters for COMESA in Lusaka, Zambia. Saudi Ambassador to Zambia H.E. Ali Saad Alkahtani, presented the cheque to COMESA Secretary General Chileshe Mpundu Kapwepwe at the COMESA Secretariat in Lusaka.

Amb. Alkahtani, said the motivation to support the construction of the COMESA headquarters stems from the strong relations that exist between the Kingdom and the COMESA bloc based on mutual respect and joint action.

“On the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Prime Minister, Prince Muhammad bin Salman and on behalf of the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, I have the pleasure to hand you a cheque in the amount of two million USD for the construction of the permanent headquarters of COMESA in Lusaka,” he said.

It also comes as an affirmation of the Kingdom’s support for efforts being undertaken by COMESA to achieve its goals which include strengthening relations among the Member States, promoting trade, encouraging peace, stability and promoting economic development.

“I would like to stress that the Kingdom will continue to work with its partners to support everything that promotes development and prosperity in African countries,” said Amb. Alkahtani.

Welcoming the gesture, Secretary General Kapwepwe said the donation was very opportune as the Secretariat embarks on a full-fledged resource mobilization effort to raise funding for the construction of the COMESA Headquarters which is projected to cost USD 35m.

The decision to construct a new Headquarters was made by the COMESA Heads of State and Government several years ago. Since then, the Secretariat has been exploring possible financing options.

“So today, the contribution by the Kingdom of Saudi of Arabia is significant, as it puts us a step closer to the beginning in earnest of the construction of the new Headquarters,” said Ms Kapwepwe.

She added that the plot of land, on which the construction of the new Headquarters will be made, was provided by the Government of Zambia. It measures 10 acres and can accommodate the Headquarters and additional projects.

The current Headquarters, which is based in downtown Lusaka, was purchased in 1997 when the Secretariat was still small. Due to expansion of the organization, in terms of the number of projects being managed and the staff complement, there is urgent need to construct a new Headquarters to enable COMESA house all its activities under one roof.

The Secretary General described the new project as an opportunity to construct an ultra-modern and environment friendly premises, befitting the statute of COMESA.



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