Zambia, Africa’s second largest copper producer, today celebrates appointment of Chileshe Kapwepwe as Secretary General for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa – COMESA. Kapwepwe replaces Sindiso Ngwenya. This is Zambia’s debut appointment at SG level and Kapwepwe will be the first woman ever to take up COMESA SG role. She currently chairs the Southern Africans nations Revenue Authority and was once Washington based lender International Monetary Fund – IMF Alternate Director. She also had a stint at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning where she served at Deputy Minister.
The name Kapwepwe is linked with Zambia Airports Corporation where was served as Chief Executive Officer before which was a Contracts Manager at Societe General de Surveillance – SGS. Other boards served on include the Central Bank, British Petroleum Zambia and the Zambia Privatization Trust Fund.
COMESA is a free trade area with nineteen member states stretching from Egypt to Eswatini founded in 1994, replacing a Preferential Trade Area which had existed since 1981. Kapwepwe is now faced with a mammoth task of fostering free trade between the member states which many have criticised as having yielded intangible results causing currency fluctuations and trade imbalances impacting nations reserve levels which are shy of desired import covers.
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