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Uganda is a founder member of Preferential Trade Area PTA founded in 1982. The Treaty transforming PTA to COMESA was signed in Kampala, Uganda, on 5th November, 1993. Uganda hosted the COMESA Summit in 2004.

COMESA is the one of the largest regional grouping with 19 countries and     market of about 400 million consumers. It is currently Uganda’s main export destination with a market share of 58% of Uganda’s exports. Uganda’s total exports to COMESA increased from USD 248.55M in 2005 to USD 712.98 M59% in 2010. The balance of trade improved from USD -315.675M to USD 792.814M in 2009. Foreign Direct inflows from COMESA to Uganda average USD 167.52 M


COMESA’s highest decision making organ is the Summit, which is held     annually on rotational basis.  The last Summit was held in Lilongwe in     Malawi. During that Summit, no country offered to host the Summit.
When the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives visited COMESA Secretariat, to acquaint herself with the activities of COMESA, the Secretary General conveyed the request of COMESA Chairperson for Uganda to consider hosting the 16th Summit.

During the visit of COMESA Secretary General to Uganda, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda, graciously     accepted to host the Summit in Uganda.  By that acceptance, Uganda became the Vice President and a member of the Bureau, with Malawi as precedent and     Swaziland as rapporteur.

As member of the Bureau, we are mandated to take some decisions     on behalf of the Council, and we held our last Bureau meeting on the sideline of the AU meeting in Addis Ababa in July, 2012.



The 16th COMESA Summit shall, therefore, take place in Speke Resort     Beach Munyonyo on 23rd - 24th November, 2012 and the meetings of     the other Policy Organs will commence on the 12th of November, 2012 as shown here:

The theme for the 16th COMESA Summit is ‘Promoting Intra-COMESA     Trade through MSMEs Development’.  This theme emphasizes the importance and the central role that MSMEs play in the economies of     COMESA member countries.  It is our strong conviction that MSMEs be promoted and encouraged to have access to intra-regional market to improve the livelihood of our people.  We shall expect that the Summit should make resolutions that will promote the development  of MSMEs in the economic integration process.  The Trade Fair, Exhibitions and Bazaars will be focusing on the promotion of MSMEs     products.
The COMESA Summit process will undertake the following     private sector activities:

i)    COMESA Business Forum which is scheduled for 20th to 22nd November, 2012 to dialogue and promote inter-COMESA Trade, Investment, Tourism, Infrastructure and communications. The Kampala Business Forum will be coordinated by the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda. 

I, therefore, we wish to encourage Private Sector Associations and stakeholders of Uganda, and that of COMESA member countries, to come for this Forum to enhance business and economic development in our region.  This is critical, particularly since in all our member countries, our economy is private sector led.

As per tradition, Uganda shall host the COMESA Trade Fair from 12th to 25th November, 2012 at Munyonyo.  This Trade Fair and Exhibitions will focus on the theme of the Summit which is ‘Promoting MSMEs Enterprise Development’.  We shall, therefore, encourage the participation of MSMEs in this Fair and Exhibition.  The Private Sector Foundation Uganda is coordinating this event.

During this period from 12th to 25th, we propose to host a COMESA Bazaar in a central location in the City outside the Conference Venue, where our traders, and manufactures from the region are able to sell their wares to the delegates and consumers to further enhance intra-COMESA trade.  The Private Sector Foundation Uganda is promoting this Bazaar.


As per COMESA tradition, we recognize the important role the First Spouses play. The First Spouses shall be holding a Roundtable Forum to discuss integration and development in COMESA member Countries.  It will be hosted by the First Lady, H.E. Janet K. Museveni, and Minister for Karamoja Affairs.

COMESA Summit meeting offers opportunities for deeper interaction and understanding among the people in the member countries.  Uganda, therefore, warmly welcomes all delegates to this Summit and we are making preparations to receive up to 800 delegates and guests for this Summit.
We would like to encourage all delegates to take advantage of the bounties and beauty of the Pearl of Africa.

Visits will be arranged for the COMESA Forum delegates to a number of Industrial and Economic facilities.  Programs and packages will be arranged for visits to major attractions such as the source of the Nile, the Martyrs shrines and National Parks.

Information packages regarding programs for the policy making organs, Hotels, Security and transport arrangements will be made available here.  Arrangements have also been made to issue Visas at the point of entry.

The hosting of COMESA Summit will further enhance Uganda’s visibility in the international scene which became prominent with the hosting of CHOGM in 2007, and the hosting of the 26th Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in March 2012.


Current News

Traders advised to shift focus on regional trade


Uganda is now prepared to increase trade with the continent’s regional blocs after it became apparent that it can reap just as much or even more from regional intra-trade than with its traditional trade partners in the EU and the Asian markets.

The Trade minister, Amelia Kyambadde said she is committed to ensuring that Uganda fully takes advantage of regional intra-trade through provision of inducement.

Comesa political federation is unrealistic, says Museveni

President Museveni has discouraged a political integration at the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) level, saying it is “unrealistic”.

According to the President, it does not make sense for the 19 Comesa members to federate politically.
“At the EAC (East African Community) we are doing the economic integration and then move to a political federation. But for Comesa, it should be economic integration because political federation is unrealistic,” he said.

Museveni asks Comesa to focus on intra-trade

President Museveni has advised the Comesa member states to shift to intra-regional and local trade. Speaking at the closure of the Comesa meeting in Kampala on Friday, President Museveni said: “The problem is not the market, but the entrepreneurs to take up the opportunities available.”

According to President Musveni, Uganda’s growth was halted by conflicts that peaked during the 1970s with the expulsion of Indians who were the drivers of the economy.

COMESA pushes for joint infrastructure projects

By Raymond Baguma & Samuel Sanya

Member states of the Common Market of East and Southern Africa (COMESA) have resolved to fast-track the implementation of joint infrastructure projects in railways, energy, roads and ICT to boost regional development.

COMESA gets new Assistant Secretary General (Programmes)

COMESA now has a new Assistant Secretary General (Programmes). Ambassador Dr. Kipyego Cheluget has been sworn in. Dr. Cheluget before his appointment was Kenya's Ambassador to Zambia and Malawi.

COMESA summit opens in Kampala

By Raymond Baguma

The African heads of state meeting in Kampala is today expected to adopt a report on regional trade, arising out of a meeting of the Council of Ministers.

The Summit Opens

Presidents Mwai Kibaki ( Kenya), Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe), Joyce Banda(Malawi) are in the Summit at Munyonyo.

Uganda will be the chair,DR Congo - vice chair and Malawi - Rapporteur.

Optimism as Uganda joins Comesa’s free trade zone


The eighth Comesa Business Forum closed yesterday November 21st 2012, leaving behind both the good and bad news. The good news is that Uganda is now a member of the Comesa Free Trade Area (FTA) and the bad news is that — depending on how Uganda plays the ball - it could end up as a dumping ground for regional products.

Peace and security paramount to achieve Comesa objectives: Amama Mbabazi

Peace and security amongst Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) member states and with our neighbours is paramount to achieving all other objectives.

This was Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi’s message at the opening of the 31st COMESA Council of Ministers meeting going on in Kampala.

Comesa Business gurus meet Tuesday to discuss role of SMEs

Comesa businessmen are converging today Tuesday 20th November 2012 in Kampala to discuss how to promote small and medium enterprises development in the region. The 8th business forum under the theme: ‘Enhancing Intra-COMESA Trade through Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development; Seizing opportunities for Innovation and Prosperity in Business’ will take place at the Commonwealth Speke Resort Munyonyo.

COMESA deal to boost exports

By David Mugabe

The private sector has lauded the Government for ratifying the COMESA free trade area, saying it will open huge markets for the country.

The Private Sector Foundation boss Gideon Badagawa described the decision as a good development for trade and investments.

“Now that the Government has pronounced itself, we will go full scale to sensitise our members,” said Badagawa over the weekend. Cabinet last week approved a recommendation by the minister of trade for Uganda to join the COMESA free trade area (FTA).

Six presidents for Kampala COMESA mee

By David Mugabe

Six presidents have confirmed participation in next week's COMESA heads of state summit to be held on November 23, 2012 in Kampala.

Thirty First Intergovernmental Committee

Thirty First Intergovernmental Committee will be starting today 15th November 2012 at 9:00 AM (GMT+3)

Uganda to sign Comesa free trade area treaty

Uganda will ratify the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) free trade area, according to Mr Mr Gerald Sendaula, the chairman of Private Sector Foundation Uganda.

Uganda assumes COMESA leadership

By David Mugabe

Later this week, Uganda will assume the chair of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), a development that trade experts believe will bring huge benefits to the country.

COMESA 2012 Summit Kicks Off!

The COMESA 2012 Summit has kicked off with the 14th COMESA Meeting of the Administrative and Budgetary Committee  at Munyonyo Resort today 13th November 2012. The meeting is to be attended by delegates from Burundi, DRC, Egypt, Eretria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Media Breakfast on 8th November - Imperial Royale

There will be a media briefing Breakfast on the progress and preparations of the COMESA 2012 Summit at Imperial Royale Hotel on 8th November 2012. Be there.

16th Summit launched in Uganda

The Minister of Trade, Industry and Co-operatives in the Government of Uganda, Hon. Amelia Kyambadde, on Wednesday, 26 September 2012 held a press briefing in order to launch the country’s hosting of this year’s Summit to the media. At the briefing hon. Kyambadde said that Uganda is a founder member of the PTA in 1982, and that the Treaty transforming the PTA to COMESA was signed in Kampala on 05 November 1993.

“Uganda agreed to host the Summit this year, and it shall take place at the Speke Resort, Munyonyo on 23-24 November 2012 alongside various Policy Organs’ meetings that commence on 13 November 2012.”


  COMESA 2012 Summit Secretariat Plot 6/8, Parliamentary Avenue,P.O. Box 7103 Kampala,+256-414 314 268/0414 314 000 Email:ps@mtic.go.ug Copyright ©. All rights reserved. 2017