The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Secretariat and government have signed a Euro 920,544 sub-delegation agreement for the construction of a cross- border market at Mwami border post between Zambia and Malawi.
The market project which is located in Chipata district in Eastern Province on the Zambia side, is funded under the 11 European Development Fund (EDF), Small Scale Cross Border Trade Initiative (SSCBTI).
According to an assessment carried out at the border, the availability of market infrastructure near borders will increase the connection between traders and customers leading to reduced losses in perishable stock.
Ministry of Trade, Commerce and Industry Principal Secretary Mushuma Mulenga thanked the European Union for the financial support.
Mr Mulenga also assured COMESA of full cooperation, in order to ensure full completion and use of the market once construction is finalised.
COMESA Secretary General, Chileshe Kapwepwe noted during the signing ceremony that the modalities of implementing the sub-delegated activities, provides an opportunity for Zambia and its key stakeholders to take ownership and lead in the implementation of the activities and final management of the market.
Ms Kapwepwe assured that the COMESA Secretariat will provide the necessary technical guidance to the project.
Meanwhile, Ambassador of the European Union to Zambia and Special Representative to COMESA Jacek Jankowski applauded the progress made through the sub-delegation agreement with Zambia, saying it will rapidly lead to increased small-scale cross-border and regional trade.
Mr Jankowski added that the development will also simplify life, especially for women traders with adequate infrastructure.
This is according to a joint statement released to the media in Lusaka today by COMESA Secretariat Head of Corporate Communications, Mwangi Gakunga and the Delegation of the European Union to Zambia Press and Information Officer, Namambo Delot.