EAC Presidents Move To Inject Billions In Railways

side effects geneva;”>The President was on Thursday addressing the 2nd East African Community Heads of State Retreat on Infrastructure Development and Financing at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, viagra buy in Nairobi, Kenya.

The President is in the Kenyan capital for the 14th East African Community Heads of State of member countries of the regional body that brings together Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

The Retreat was attended by Presidents Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of Tanzania, Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi, Yoweri Museveni and the host, Mwai Kibaki who is also the EAC Chairman.

Rwanda was represented by the Prime Minister, Mr. Pierre Habumureme.

Stressing the need to protect Lake Victoria, President Museveni revealed that the Government of Uganda is preparing to construct the 600 megawatt Karuma hydro-power dam to be fully funded using its own resources.

He added that it is also to construct the 180 megawatt Isimba dam in Busoga Sub-Region.

Mr Museveni, therefore, asked the EAC Secretariat to include the proposed construction of the Tororo – Pakwach – Juba railway line and the Kasese – Kisangani line, among the projects in the pipeline in Uganda

Regarding the issue of corruption, the President revealed that the vice is among the non tariff barriers in the East African region.

He also noted that concessional loans are the best for electricity and railways projects adding that private investors could be encouraged to build toll roads. He suggested that electricity generation stations could be built using our own resources in order to reduce the costs.

President Museveni was pleased to note that 3 East African countries – Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda – have oil which, he said, could be used to enhance their development process.

He revealed that Uganda expects to earn US$5 billion per annum from oil alone saying “with our oil and gas, we do not need to panic and make mistakes” and expressed fully his support to the proposed infrastructure project.

President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya, who is also the Chairman of the East African Community, said that the Heads of State Retreat would focus on railways, ports and energy. He said lack of working infrastructure is one of the biggest barriers to trade in the region.

He noted that infrastructure facilitates all the other development initiatives.

The Kenyan leader noted that the interconnection of power supply is a pre- requisite for attracting local and foreign investors to the region.

He expressed happiness that roads across the region have been rehabilitated and constructed adding that one stop border posts had been established to enhance business transactions in the area.

He thanked the region’s development partners for their contribution to the construction of the major roads and other infrastructure saying that less than 5% of the cargo in the region is transported by rail.

He said that this has brought a big strain on our roads. He was optimistic that when emphasis is put into railways, the region would be assured of a long lifespan of our roads with a resultant effect of reduced transport costs.

Addressing the meeting, President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi advised that “we should not only make the infrastructure but also maintain, rehabilitate and upgrade it.”

The Tanzanian President, Mr. Jakaya Kikwete, commended the Council of Ministers and the EAC Secretariat for the job well done. He noted that infrastructure is important for the individual countries in particular and the region at large.

He challenged member countries of the EAC to standardize the rail gauge because the region must integrate with other regions.

He stressed that the East African railway must be able to be in harmony with the Southern African gauge because, he noted, it is East Africa’s biggest trading partner He concurred with the proposal by President Nkurunziza’s that the 5-yearly Retreat should be changed to take place at least once every two years.

A Communiqué that was issued at the end of the Retreat, the regional leaders appreciated the depth of preparation of the projects and emphasized the need to work on electricity interconnectivity among the region’s countries.

The EAC leaders directed the Council to put into place a reduction in time between the planning and implementation of projects.

They resolved to improve on the timing of the various projects and further directed the Council to submit progress reports bi-annually. The EAC also resolved to hold the retreat once every two years.


Header advertisement
To Top