Seychelles has secured a further EUR 241 565.50 under the COMESA Adjustment Facility (CAF) after scoring satisfactory performance in regional integration. This emerged on Friday 16th December from the ministerial meeting of the COMESA Fund in Lusaka, Zambia where Seychelles was represented by the Secretary of State in Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Barry Faure, representing the Minister of Finance, Trade and Economic Planning, Dr. Peter Larose.
The COMESA Fund provides for the establishment of a regional development financing mechanism aimed at facilitating regional integration. The CAF itself is a facility set up by the COMESA Fund to enable member states to make the necessary fiscal, economic and social adjustments that inherently accompany the implementation of regional integration commitments. This support includes broad adjustment cost mitigation which may arise from implementation of policies and programmes relating to trade liberalisation reforms and regional integration efforts that are in consonance with the COMESA integration agenda.
The CAF is funded through the Regional Integration Support Mechanism (RISM) by the European Union (EU) which put in EUR 78 million to kick-start the Facility under the 9th European Development Fund. RISM is a mechanism for delivering financial resources or performance-based incentives (& technical assistance) for regional integration, helping Member States to achieve their commitments. It provides “start up” or “seed” financing (fixed tranches), to facilitate national level managerial organization or re-organization towards the RISM approach. It provides additional resources on the assumption that Governments are already committed to and supporting regional integration in line with the COMESA Treaty. After the first year, RISM rewards performance (variable tranches) and so provides continued support.
Under the CAF, each member state has to submit a Regional Integration Implementation Programme which Seychelles successfully did in 2012 and has since 2013 been benefiting from each consecutive call for submissions adding to a total of EU 2.4 million until 2015.
As a small nation with international responsibilities, Seychelles undertakes commitments which sometimes result in the re-alignment of its national policies often resulting in associated impact on the country’s financial and human resources.
Through the additional funds received from the COMESA Fund, line-ministries and institutions are in a better position to conduct studies and address challenges based on informed decisions. It is thus a foregone conclusion that the country has largely benefitted from its participation in the COMESA Fund where it had to make an assessed contribution of USD 90 000.00.
Seychelles Ambassador Claude Morel and Seychelles Honorary Consul in Lusaka, Jimmy Butt, also attended the Finance Ministers meeting which was preceded by a two-day technical meeting.