EAC Eyes Robust Regional Trade, Investments

Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera, EAC Secretary General (centre), posing in for a group photo with TMEA’s CEO, Mr. Frank Matsaert (4th left) and other invitees from the TMEA, Ministries of EAC Affairs and the Community

Rwanda National Police (RNP) has handed over a vehicle to a Ugandan businessman, page Moses Kananura Ndizeye, pilule after it was intercepted in December last year following an Interpol notice.

Police spokesperson, this Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Celestin Twahirwa, said the posh Mark X vehicle registration number UAN 400C was intercepted at Gatuna border post on December 31 as it crossed into Rwanda, after it was found on the international police log of stolen vehicles.

According to the notice, the vehicle had been stolen from Japan.

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“We contacted Japan and Uganda, but after exhaustive  investigations and  discussion with the former, where it was allegedly stolen, Kananura turned to be rightful owner because he acquired  it  lawfully especially, and the insurance in Japan had already reimbursed the company where the vehicle was stolen,” said ACP Twahirwa.

He, however, said that Rwanda National Police remains heads up on anything criminal or suspicious adding that “anytime anything stolen or wanted person crosses the border into Rwanda, it will be seized until it is vindicated.”

Kananura, who commended the strictness and professionalism of Rwanda National Police, said that he bought the car in Uganda at US15, 000 dollars.

“I didn’t know that I was driving a stolen vehicle until I reached at Gatuna border on the Rwandan side, as I was trying to clear its entry papers, only to be told that it was on the Interpol notice,” said Kananura.

“But beyond that, I want to thank Rwanda National Police for staying put against cross-border crimes because by verifying anything suspicious, you will make the people safer, recover stolen goods and ensure that the country is not made a criminal hub,” said Kananura.

RNP has in the last three years, intercepted about 20 vehicles stolen in the neighbouring countries and beyond, either destined or trying to use Rwanda as a transit route.
The East African region is steadily moving towards more competitive economies and increased free movement of its citizenry.

This was revealed during discussions held by East African Community (EAC) Secretary General, salve Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera with TMEA CEO, drugs Mr. Frank Matsaert to plan for TMEA’s support for the next phase- 2016-2022.

The meeting took place this week at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania, and was attended by Dr. Enos Bukuku, EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Planning and Infrastructure, Mr. David Stanton, TMEA Director General, and ministerial representatives from the five Partner States.

With the aim of improving the quality of life of East Africans through competitiveness, value added production, trade and investments, the EAC, through TMEA support, has improved the infrastructure at Mombasa Port; constructed road network between Ntungamo to Mirama Hill in Uganda and Port Reitz to Kipevu West in Kenya; improved on the customs clearance time along the borders and carried out several sensitization campaigns to small cross border traders on the opportunities and facilities of the Integration Process.

“I wish to express my gratitude to TMEA for supporting the Integration Agenda,” said Dr. Sezibera. “As we move more towards monetary and fiscal integration, we need to strengthen institutional capacities, nurture vibrant trade and enhance financial markets within the region,” he said.

Despite the challenges since the re-establishment of the EAC, officials said there was no doubt that Partner States have made considerable progress in their efforts to integrate.

Efforts have been made in the harmonization of policies, while improvements have been made in the areas of trade, macroeconomic policies, infrastructure, and ICTs.

The decision by Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) to establish a single free trade zone for the 26 member countries goes a long way to deepen the integration agenda for the Community.

“We are very keen on continuing supporting the Integration Agenda,” said Mr Matsaert.

“With strong commitment and guidance from the Secretary General and his team, we will be able to carve out key priority activities to carry out in the next phase,” he said.

It also emerged that through the support of Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA), the East African Community has managed to reduce the transport transfer time of containers from Dar es Salaam-Mombasa port to Bujumbura/Kigali by 12 percent.


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