THE Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has signed a memorandum of understating (MoU) with six universities from member states to roll out programmes that support innovation and promote regional integration.
COMESA has further awarded 18 scholarships worth US$50,000 to students from the bloc.
The students are supposed to pursue a master’s degree programme in regional integration at Kenyatta University of Kenya and the University of Mauritius.
Under the agreement, the participating universities will offer training and undertake researches to address development challenges in the region.
In a statement this week and as reported by the Herald, COMESA said it had signed a MOU with Open University of Mauritius, ISGE (Burundi), University of Zambia and University of Zimbabwe.
“The two-year Masters of Regional Integration programme is a unique multi-disciplinary professional course designed to build the capacity of public sector officials working on trade, economic integration and international cooperation issues,” said COMESA.
“In addition, the programme is relevant to private sector stakeholders, including private firms/organisations, media practitioners; chambers of commerce, manufacturer and consumer associations.”
According to the organisation, the scholarships’ sponsorship was facilitated through the support from the European Union and the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States under the TradeCom II capacity building programme.
In 2010, the 28th COMESA Council of Ministers meeting decided to establish a professional or graduate school on Regional Integration to foster cooperation in research and development in the COMESA region, in line with Articles 127 and 128 of the treaty.
“Following this decision, COMESA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with participating Universities to offer training and undertake conventional researches as tools for analysing impacts and supporting innovations to address development challenges in the region,” said COMESA.