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Mauritius:AU Sixth Conference of African Ministers in Charge of Integration Opens in Balaclava
Source: SADC Contribution - Mauritius
Source Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs
Country: Mauritius
Created: May 22, 2013

The work programme for the Ministerial Meeting comprises presentation of the activity Report of the Chairperson of COMAI V; overview on the status of Integration in Africa and implementation of the COMAI V recommendations; consideration and adoption of the recommendations of the Experts Meeting; consideration and adoption of the Draft Ministerial Declaration; and, confirmation of the date and venue of the next conference.
Panel discussions during the meeting are focusing on several sub-themes namely: Pan Africanism and Integration; Impact of Globalisation on the Governance of Integration in Africa; and, How to deepen the interest of African leaders in the integration process?
Besides Mauritius, around twenty countries are represented at the COMAI VI, amongst others: Ethiopia, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Libya, Tunisia, Niger and Côte D’Ivoire. Some 11 African Ministers and 130 delegates are attending.
In his opening address, the Acting Prime Minister, Dr Rashid Beebeejaun, said that the hosting of the COMAI VI is a testimony to the strong commitment of Mauritius to the regional and continental integration process in Africa and is also part of the event being organised to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the OAU/AU and the 10th anniversary of the African Peer Review Mechanism in which Mauritius is actively participating.
According to Dr Beebeejaun, in an interdependent and fast globalising world, where the economy is underpinned by unprecedented progress in science, technology and communication, the importance of regional integration cannot be overemphasised. Even a big country like the United States, the largest economy in the world, recognises the value of regional integration with its decision to negotiate strategic partnership to boost its trade and business in an increasingly competitive environment, he stated. Since similar agreements are being envisaged in other parts of the world, it makes economic sense to embrace regional integration and indeed to accelerate it in order to promote and safeguard the trade and economic influence of Africa, he added.
For his part, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Dr Arvin Boolell, stated that in the context of globalisation, regional integration is imperative for Africa, in terms of enhanced competitiveness in global trading, prevention of conflicts and consolidation of economic and political reforms. ‘African countries have undertaken the process of regional integration in order to achieve strong, sustainable economic growth and to become major and effective actors in world governance’, he observed.
Regional integration is promoted in Mauritius through cooperation with regional organisations such as the African Union, SADC, COMESA and Indian Ocean Commission, said Dr Boolell. ‘However, the fact that Mauritius, along with other African countries, belongs to more than one Regional Economic Community may result in issues during implementation of economic processes. The Tripartite negotiations between SADC-COMESA-EAC represent a good initiative to resolve this issue’, he added.
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