The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the European Union (EU) on Friday signed an agreement to support small and medium-sized enterprises and improve their competitiveness.
The Regional Enterprise Competitiveness and Access to Markets Program (RECAMP) agreement was signed on the sidelines of the 40th COMESA Council of Ministers in Lusaka, the Zambian capital.
Jacek Jankowski, EU Ambassador to Zambia and Permanent Representative to COMESA, who signed on behalf of his organisation, said the EU was committed to its long standing partnership with COMESA and has been consistently supporting efforts towards regional economic integration.
He said the RECAMP programme was expected to help attract investment in value chains that were environmentally sound, socially inclusive and economically viable.
Chileshe Kapwepwe, COMESA Secretary General, said the programme would enhance the capacities and skills of micro, small and medium enterprises to make them capable players in the value chain development.
“A significant number of micro, small and medium enterprises, especially women and youth owned enterprises, are vulnerable when it comes to participating in value chains, networks at the national, regional and global level because of their competitiveness.’’
The programme is funded by the EU, under the 11th European Development Fund and will be implemented by COMESA through its specialised institutions.