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May 07, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— The African’s youngest nation, South Sudan has joined the Common Market for Eastern and South Africa (Comesa).
The barely expected admission of South Sudan into COMESA came a few days after the war-torn oil rich state joined the East African Community(EAC).
According to Sindiso Ngwenya, the Secretary General of Comesa, who spoke at a signing ceremony in Mombasa on Thursday South Sudan’s admission came after the previous government of Mr. Salva Kiir fought so hard to be guaranteed membership right in COMESA.
“We are pleased to announce that following the Comesa’s engagement at the highest level, the government of South Sudan has joined the RCTG Scheme,” Ngwenya said at a signing ceremony in Mombasa on Thursday.
The Regional Customs Transit Guarantee(RCTG) Scheme is a transit regime designed to facilitate the movement of goods under Customs seals in the COMESA region and to provide the required customs security and guarantee to the transit countries.
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Although it may take South Sudan many years to reap the benefits of joining COMESA, Ngwenya was proud to announce that member states and stakeholders of COMESA’s RCTG have gained enormously from the scheme through savings in the cost of cargo transport since 2012.
South Sudan submitted many applications to join the block in the last few years with its last application on April 22, 2016 designating a Speed Insurance Company to act on its behave as a National Surety.
“On the behalf of Comesa and on my own behalf, I would like to welcome South Sudan to the RCTG Scheme,” said the Comesa top official.
Speaking after the signing of the agreement, South Sudan Director General for External Trade at the Ministry of Trade, Stephen Matatia, said the people of South Sudan are finally happy to have joined the scheme.
“Today, is a great day for us, in the Southern Sudan now we have peace and now we are joining COMESA as a trading block. I think we will do a lot. We are in the middle of all Comesa country: Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and DRC Congo” Matatia said.
South Sudan, the world youngest nation, will join 19 other countries comprising of Burundi, Comoros, D.R. Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar,Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
According to the hopeful Director of Trade, Stephen Matatia, the landlocked South Sudan will use its position in the “middle” to facilitate RCTG scheme and yellow card.
To the people of South Sudan, who hardly produce anything but consume mostly imported goods, the new agreement has opened up the landlocked nation to foreign market at the expense of local production.
COMESA will now set a tough competition to East African Community(EAC), which has dominated the South Sudanese local market for the last few years.
Earlier this month, South Sudan joined the EAC and bumped up its membership to six countries after Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and now South Sudan with a total population of 162 millions people.
South Sudan gained its independent in July 2011 after 55 years of civil war with the North, however, returned to civil war just two years after its independent.
Since 2011 the young nation has joined many trading and political blocks, financial institutions and treaties.
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