farmer with produce2. Start of BABA / COMESA relationship

Start of COMESA / BABA relationship Mr Sindiso Ngwenya is the third Secretary-General of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) since it was transformed from the PTA in 1994. He brings with him over 27 years of service in industry, regional and multilateral levels covering the public sector, private sector and government institutions.

Before his appointment, Mr. Ngwenya was the Assistant Secretary General of COMESA in charge of Programmes a position he held for ten years. In this position, he was responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of COMESA programmes. In addition, he oversaw and supervised the operations of COMESA established institutions such as the Leather and Leather Product Institute (LLPI), the Clearing House and the Regional Investment Agency.

In industry, Mr Ngwenya was involved in the design and implementation of programmes and projects in the road, airline and railway sectors. At the regional level, he was instrumental in the formulation of the PTA (now COMESA) regional integration programmes culminating in the launch of the COMESA Free Trade Area on 31st October 2000. He also worked on the establishment of COMESA specialised institutions, such as, the Eastern and Southern Africa Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank), the COMESA Clearing House and the PTA Re-Insurance Company (ZEP-RE). More recently, he played a key role in the design of the COMESA Customs Union and Common Investment Area.

He was also part of the team that crafted the COMESA Treaty and oversaw the transformation of the PTA into COMESA in 1994. His personal mission is to contribute to sustainable social and economic development and uplifting the living standards of Africa's populace through regional co-operation and integration to transform and modernise economies of COMESA member states individually and collectively with the ultimate objective of realising the African Economic Community under the auspices of the African Union.

Mr. Ngwenya was born on 16 April 1951. He is married with three children. He has a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Geography and a Master of Science in Transportation and Traffic Planning.

In September 2008, Khalid Sheikh was invited to the United Nations, New York at the 2008 annual start up of the General Assembly and it was at this gathering, he had the good fortune of meeting one of the panellists, Mr Sindiso Ngwenya, General Secretary of COMESA (Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa). Mr Ngwenya was very impressed with the way Khalid spoke to the panel about his vision for Africa and his immense desire to go and change Africa - as he puts it.... "I am going to Change the Fortunes of Africans myself".

Mr Ngwenya, being of the same mind-set, started a dialogue with Khalid in respect of the BABA initiative. This being in line with COMESA's Vision and Strategy for Africa. After having had many discussions, they decided that Clifton Packaging Group Plc and COMESA in partnership would take this vision and drive it full throttle. Throughout the many discussions, they decided the best way forward was to open up initially, a Flag Ship of Centre of Excellence in Zambia (a separate section covers the Centre’s of Excellence in this document). Mr Ngwenya, and Mr Frank Mugyenyi subsequently visited Clifton in February 2009 and were very impressed with the set-up and the impressive "state of the art" machinery in the 5 acre site factory. (see website

This meeting has been the turning point, and the urgency to start up COMESA/BABA Centre of Excellence in Zambia moved another level. Both Mr Ngwenya and Mr Sheikh have built up a very close relationship and look forward to seeing great things happening in Africa. 2009 will be the year for AFRICA to move forward, and be recognised as a serious player amongst developed countries. The future potential of BABA/COMESA as the brand identity in the promotion of Africa worldwide and its significance is beyond description.


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