Africa’s biggest trading bloc on Monday announced that it will hold its 20th Heads of State and Governments’ Summit on July 18 and 19, 2018 in Lusaka, the Zambian capital.

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) said the summit, to be held under the theme “COMESA: Towards Digital Economic Integration,” will be preceded by meetings of ministers and technical officials starting from July 9, according to a statement.

“It is designed to rally member states towards the full adoption of digital technologies to reduce the disparities in the state of digitalization across sectors in the COMESA region,” the statement said.

It added that the theme was specifically intended to address disparities between high-tech and more traditional areas and between COMESA countries and other regions.

Among the key issues in this year’s summit agenda was the consideration of membership to the 19-member regional bloc by Tunisia and Somalia, with negotiations for the admission of the two states having been concluded.

During the summit, the COMESA Council of Ministers are scheduled to endorse the membership application of the two countries and subsequent approval by the Heads of State Assembly.

The summit was also expected to appoint a new secretary-general to take over from Zimbabwe-born Sindiso Ngwenya whose tenure of office was coming to an end, the statement added. Enditem


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