Woman appointed new Secretary General of COMESA

Zambia’s former Deputy Finance Minister Chileshe Kapwepwe has been appointed as Secretary General of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), becoming the first woman to occupy that position.

The appointment was announced at the recent 20th COMESA Summit meeting in Lusaka, Zambia.

Kapwepwe, who is also the first Zambian to hold the position, takes over from long serving Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya, who is Zimbabwean.

Kapwepwe is the current chairperson of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and also the executive director of a non-governmental organisation called “Imiti Ikula Empanga.” She also served as IMF Alternate Director in Washington.

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is a free trade area with 19 member states. Tunisia and Somalia are expected to become new members during the two-day summit ending Thursday.

COMESA was formed in December 1994, replacing a Preferential Trade Area which had existed since 1981