Addis Ababa Hosts Discussion on COMESA Electronic Single Window Plan  

ADDIS ABABA – The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) technical working group has begun its first meeting on the plans to implement an Electronic Single Window (ESW) service to improve intra-regional trade today.

The meeting, which is taking place in Addis Ababa, comes almost five years after the COMESA council of ministers passed a decision for member states to promote the establishment of the ESW.

The ministerial decision aims at harmonizing and standardizing data connectivity platforms among government agencies and private stakeholders key in the trade supply chain to improve intra-regional trade and investment.

Accordingly, the technical working group is now holding their four-day long meeting on the electronic single window in Addis Ababa, beginning on Monday. 

“The objective of the meeting is to discuss and consider the situational assessment study report, the draft legal frameworks, and the draft strategy for development and implementation of COMESA electronic single window,” said Ethiopia’s Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration 

The working group will also receive presentations on the status of COMESA digital FTA instruments and share experiences of other international organizations and partners, the Ministry added.

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa is the largest regional economic organization in Africa, with 19 member states and a population of about 390 million.

However, the Intra-regional trade among the 21 Member countries of COMESA is estimated at 7%. This low performance is attributed to inadequate participation of all Member States in the Free Trade Area and the challenges they face in implementing regional commitments, according to COMESA.

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