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Sindiso Ndema Ngwenya is the fifth Secretary-General of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) since it was transformed from the PTA in 1994. Before his appointment as Secretary General, Ngwenya was the Assistant Secretary General of COMESA in charge of Programs a position he held for ten years. In this position, he was responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of COMESA programs. 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 this exclusive interview with Addis Standard in connection with the 20th year anniversary of the birth of COMESA, Ngwenya describes the journey so far, the challenges and opportunities. Excerpts:

Now in her late twenties, Toltu Tufa specializes in connecting with diverse communities. As the recipient of numerous international awards, Toltu’s passion for community advocacy and leadership resulted in becoming the first female chairperson of Australia’s vibrant Oromo community in 2011. She has also been active as an Australian television show host, while using her graduate studies in Psychology and Education to work as a volunteer teacher for 10 years. Toltu’s most recent efforts sparked a viral social media campaign to revitalize Africa’s fourth most widely spoken language, Afaan Oromo, banned in parts of Africa for more than 100 years. As part of its attempt to recognize a woman of excellence for the month of March and in connection with march 8th Addis Standard spoke to Toltu on a range of topics from her efforts to launch Afaan Publications to her challenges and opportunities. Excerpts: