Lusaka, 2nd October 2017 (ECA) – The ECA office for Southern Africa will organize the Twenty Third Session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE) of Southern Africa on the theme “Trade Facilitation in Southern Africa: Bridging the Infrastructure Gap” on 26-27 October, 2017 at the Holiday Inn in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The 23rd ICE of Southern Africa will be hosted by the Government of Zimbabwe.
The 23rd ICE follows the successful 22nd Session hosted by the Government of Malawi on 17-18 March 2016 in Lilongwe, under the theme “Implementing the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap: Options and Prospects” and come up with recommendations to accelerate implementation through domestication of regional aspirations.
Trade facilitation and the challenges thereof will be the focus of the 23rd session. The meeting will interrogate these challenges which collectively contribute to high transportation and logistics costs, which significantly constrains and impede efficient intra-regional trade; as well proffer recommendations.
Participants will include senior government officials, private sector representatives, civil society organizations, representatives of regional economic communities, academia and research institutions and other UN agencies among others.
In addition, the session will review the economic and social conditions in Southern Africa; consider and endorse the implementation of the programme of work of the ECA Southern Africa Sub-Regional Office, the programme of work and the budget for 2018; and discuss the implementation of regional and international agendas in the sub region focusing on Agenda 2030. The delegates will recommend strategies towards ensuring that the work of ECA is aligned to member States’ and RECs’ priorities.
The 23rd ICE will be preceded by the Ad-hoc Expert Group Meeting (AEGM) on “Deepening Regional Integration in Southern Africa: The Role, Prospects and Progress of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA)”, on 23-24 October 2017 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, at the same venue.
Participants at the AEGM constituting experts in regional integration, senior government officials and representatives of regional economic communities will deliberate on the theme and identify the opportunities from enhanced integration. Recommendations towards addressing the challenges with regard to the implementation of the TFTA milestones will be made.
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Note to the editors
The Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE) is a United Nations (UN) General Assembly policy sub-organ of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development established to provide a forum for engaging member States’ senior policy makers (Senior Government Officials) on policy and programme-related matters in each of the five (5) sub-regions of Africa.
It is an integral part of ECA’s governance machinery and meets annually to consider, provide guidance and endorse the formulation and implementation of the programme of work in line with the priorities of each sub-region and issue recommendations with a view to ensuring that the development imperatives of the sub-regions are fully reflected in the overall work programme of ECA.
ECA is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). ECA established Sub-regional presence in Southern Africa in 1966 when it opened the Sub-regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa in Lusaka, Zambia. The office serves eleven countries: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Through its programmes, ECA supports member States and regional economic communities to formulate and implement harmonized macroeconomic and sectoral policies and programmes to address key integration priorities in Southern Africa.
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