Saudi Arabia Donates US$2 Million To COMESA HQ Project
A 10-acre plot of land has been set aside in Lusaka.
Saudi Arabia has donated US$2 million towards the construction of a new permanent headquarters for COMESA in Lusaka, Zambia.
The kingdom’s ambassador to Zambia, Ali Saad Alkahtani presented a cheque to COMESA secretary-general Chileshe Mpundu Kapwepwe in Lusaka on 24 July.
Kapwepwe described the donation as “very opportune” as the COMESA Secretariat looks to raise funding for the construction of the new headquarters building which is projected to cost US$35 million.
“The contribution by the kingdom of Saudi of Arabia is significant as it puts us a step closer to the beginning in earnest of the construction of the new headquarters,” she said.
The government of Zambia has provided a 10-acre plot of land to accommodate the new headquarters.
The current COMESA building in downtown Lusaka was purchased in 1997. The expansion of the organisation over the past 25 years means a new headquarters building is now needed.
The secretary-general said it is an opportunity to construct an ultra-modern and environmentally friendly premises.
The Royal Government of #SaudiArabia🇸🇦 has today provided USD$2m towards the construction of a new #COMESA Headquarters in #Lusaka. H.E. Amb. Ali Saad Alkahtani presented the cheque to @chilesheKcomesa #Growingtogetherforprosperityhttps://t.co/2kizPeGVCJ pic.twitter.com/PlT2dI5cfO— COMESA Secretariat (@comesa_lusaka) July 24, 2023
The intention to construct a new headquarters was announced more than seven years ago. The original proposal was to develop the project as a public-private partnership. In addition to offices, the plan included a 200-room hotel and conference facilities.
COMESA is a regional economic community comprising 21 member states. Its secretariat is hosted by the government of Zambia.
In late July, the COMESA Competition Commission, which is hosted by Malawi, invited expressions of interest from consultants to oversee the construction of a new five-storey office complex in the capital Lilongwe.
Two floors of the building will be occupied by COMESA Competition Commission staff and the COMESA Competition Training Law Centre, and the other three will be leased out to tenants.
The deadline for submissions is 17 August.
The same tender was issued in October 2022.
Photo: Presenting the cheque on 24 July (Source: COMESA)