The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has handed over a two million United States dollar cheque to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
Speaking during the handover of the cheque to COMESA, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ambassador to Zambia Ali SAAD Alkahtani said the funds are meant to go towards the construction of the COMESA headquarters in Lusaka, Zambia.
Mr. Alkahtani said the two million United States dollars is part of the support from the Kingdom towards the construction of a permanent headquarters of COMESA.
“I have the pleasure of handing over a cheque for the support provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to COMESA, through an initial amount of two million United States dollars for the construction of the permanent headquarters of COMESA in Lusaka,” He said.
He said the donation is evidence of the strong bilateral relations that exist between the Kingdom and COMESA.
Mr. Alkahtani said the relationship is based on mutual respect and joint action in all fields.
He stressed that the donation is an affirmation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s support of the efforts being made by COMESA to enhance regional integration.
And speaking shortly after receiving the cheque, COMESA Secretary General Chileshe Kapwepwe thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the financing support rendered to the organization towards the construction of the new COMESA headquarters valued at 35 million United States dollars.
“I am honoured to receive the cheque of two million United States dollars from the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as support towards the financing of the construction of the new COMESA headquarters which is valued at around USD 35 million,” She said.
Ms. Kapwepwe said the donation has come at an opportune time when the organization is about to embark on a full-fledged resource mobilization aimed at raising funding for the construction of the COMESA headquarters building.
She disclosed that the current COMESA building is small, hence the move to build a bigger headquarters that will accommodate all the projects being undertaken by COMESA.
Ms. Kapwepwe said there is an urgent need to construct a new headquarters, in order to enable COMESA to house its activities under one roof.
She said the construction of a new building will enable COMESA to put up an ultra-modern and environment friendly headquarters befitting the COMESA of today.