Members of the Common Market for Eastern and Central Africa (COMESA) have reported advancements in the development and expansion of science and technology and infrastructure in the region.
COMESA, the largest regional economic organization in Africa, with 19 member states has reported advancements in information technology, aviation, expansion of ports and marine transport.
The COMESA region is putting more effort on the expansion of roads, railways, air and marine transport which is bringing remarkable change in infrastructure development, said Ambassador Dr Kipyego Cheluget COMESA Assistant Secretary General.
Ambassador Cheluget remarked during opening session of the 9th joint technical committee meeting of COMESA in Bahirdar, capital of the state of Amhara.
The meeting which discusses developments in transport, information communication technology and energy puts increased emphases on launching mega projects to make better use of the continent’s ample natural resources.
The Assistant Secretary General disclosed that emphasis has been attached to realize Africa’s integration through economic and social linkages.
Railways linking Ethiopia with Djibouti and Kenya with Uganda have been cited as good examples in the drive towards integration. Addis Ababa’s Light Rail Transit Project was also mentioned as the first in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.
Part of the integration agenda is the Cape Town-Cairo asphalt road which passes through Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan.
The participants also noted that Africa is increasingly tapping into its diverse energy potential with more plans to ensure access.
The 9th technical committee meeting will make thorough deliberation on sustaining advancements gained so far and report on addressing problems in developing infrastructures to the COMESA Council of Ministers.
As a member of COMESA, Ethiopia is also heavily investing on power generation, road and air transport and other infrastructures that connect it with countries in the Eastern Africa, said Dessalegn Ambaw, State Minister of Transport.
The official also revealed government plans of building 15 thousand kilometers of roads in the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP2) period.
He recalled the completion of the 756 kilometers Ethio-Djibuti railroad and efforts in promoting green development which includes the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and other geothermal, wind and solar energy production schemes.
The four-day technical committee meeting will end up with a meeting of ministers drawn from COMESA member countries.
Some 326 billion dollars has already been put aside for mega projects that connect COMESA member countries.