The COMESA Adjustment Facility (CAF) is a special facility of The COMESA Fund which was adopted in 2002, with the objective of providing adjustment support to implement regional integration and trade related programmes within the nineteen (19) Member States. It was operationalized with the European Union (EU) resources in 2007, through the Regional Integration Support Mechanism (RISM). The total resources envelope of The CAF is €111 million. Contributions to the Fund have been made by sixteen (16) Member states of The CAF. From the € 82.4 million approved for these members, 80% of the current CAF/RISM envelop has been disbursed.

Areas of Intervention
The CAF provides support to eligible Member States for social and economic costs adjustments, which includes:

  1. Addressing the loss of customs and other related tax revenues and other conditions mentioned herein in a sustainable manner;
  2. Contributing to implementing policy reforms designed to improve the efficiency of domestic markets, the business environment, facilitating the reallocation of capital, labour resources and assisting firms in meeting the cost of compliance to new obligations and further meet the social and economic costs of liberalisation;
  3. Contributing to improving the global competitiveness and resilience of economies and industries so that they are able to take advantage of new market opportunities through support to productive infrastructures and investment in developing new products, processes, and technologies.

Eligibility Criteria
In accordance with the Protocol of the COMESA Fund, the Ministerial Committee establishes the following eligibility criteria to access the CAF:

Administrative eligibility:

  • Deposit the instrument of ratification of the Protocol;
  • Payment of full assessed contributions to the Fund;
  • Compliance with Authority decisions on budgetary contributions to the Secretariat.

Regional Policy Eligibility:

  • Demonstration of engagement towards the effective implementation of the regional integration process of COMESA and the wider trade liberalisation arrangements consistent with the aims and objectives of the COMESA Treaty;
  • Engagement in an overall reform programme to implement adopted regional integration programmes including; regional trade liberalisation, facilitation of investment and facilitation of the movement of goods, services, capital and people across COMESA borders and improvement of the overall business environment as part of the process leading to a fully functional Common Market; or
  • Commitment to undertake necessary fiscal reforms to address the loss of revenue in the case of an application for support as a result of revenue loss arising out of the elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers through the implementation of regional integration commitments.
  • Programme specific eligibility shall include:
  • The programmes shall be in accordance with the areas of intervention;
  • The programmes which have to be included in the Regional Integration Implementation Programmes (RIIP), have to be part of a recognised national economic strategy as reflected in a Member State’s policy and/or national development plan with clear linkages to implementation of regional trade programmes;
  • A programme co-financed by the national government or other cooperating partners or both; and
  • The programme shall include a Performance Assessment Framework (PAF) that will be agreed between the applicant country and the Secretariat on the basis of agreed RIIP indicators and yearly commitments made.

Management

  1. The overall responsibility for managing the CAF lies with the Ministerial Committee;
  2. The Ministerial Committee shall delegate technical aspects of the oversight of the management of the CAF and the implementation of its policies to the COMESA Fund Technical Committee;
  3. The Technical Committee shall evaluate applications by Member States and forward a proposal for a Decision to the Ministerial Committee. Other members, such as representatives of cooperating partners or professionals may be co-opted;
  4. The Ministerial Committee and Technical Committee shall be technically and administratively responsible for the Management of the CAF and will be supported by the COMESA Secretariat.