Special Reports

East Africa Steps Up Political Federation Process

East African leaders in Nairobi last year

The 16th East African Community Heads of State meeting in Nairobi on Friday has directed that the process leading to the formation of the regional political federation should be expedited, visit sick http://conforms.com/wp-includes/locale.php Chimp Corps report.

Regional leaders say a political federation would expand the market for domestic goods, sale medicine http://coachesacrosscontinents.org/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php boost mobility of labour and persons and attract heavy investments.

“The summit noted the progress towards initiating the Process of drafting the constitution for the East African community political federation, buy cost http://clipvoice.it/administrator/components/com_menus/menus.php ” part of the resolutions reads in part.

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The summit directed the council to finalize the national consultations on the model structure, road map, action plan and report progress to the next summit.

Speaking at the ceremony, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta said the East African region recorded significant progress in its integration process in the past one year.

He cited the signing of the Protocol establishing the East African Monetary Union and the implementation of mega infrastructure projects as some of the achievements of the region under his chairmanship.

“We have made progress and moved a good distance.  I assure my brother, President Kikwete of my support, and trust that he will take the integration agenda even further in the coming 12 months,” President Kenyatta said.

The President would later hand over the baton of the regional bloc’s chairmanship to Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete.

The meeting was also attended by Presidents Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Pierre Nkurunziza (Burundi), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) and South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir.

Saying Non-Tariff Barriers must go to unlock the region’s intra-trade potential, President Kenyatta called for fully implementation of the East African Monetary Union to facilitate movement and cross-border trade.

Noting that intra-EAC trade grew from $ 3.5 billion in 2009 to about $ 5.8 billion in 2013, the President said the region had potential for higher volumes of trade across the borders.

He commended the business community for embracing the opportunities which come with integration and encouraged them to make greater use of the larger regional market.

“This will create more wealth and deliver more jobs for our young population,” President Kenyatta said.

The President pointed out that the growth of intra-Community trade has been accompanied by greater regional connectivity through enabling infrastructure development.

Over the last 2 years, the President said, projects and programmes designed to promote intensive integration have been completed.

“Encouragingly, work has commenced on several cross-border roads. The Voi-Taveta-Arusha road and numerous sections of the Northern and Central Corridors are notable examples,” he said.

He said partner states invested heavily in the modernisation and expansion of the railway network throughout region, among other infrastructure projects.

To further facilitate movement and cross-border trade, President Kenyatta said the EAC established one-stop border posts at major boundary points, including Lunga Lunga and Taveta on the Tanzania/Kenya border as well as Rusumo on the Uganda/Rwanda border.

“Upon commencement of full operations, we expect these facilities to support efficient transactions in our Community by reducing clearance times by up to 40%,” President Kenyatta said.

President Kenyatta said Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda are also implementing a One-Area Network to reduce calling charges which are an impediment to trade and communication in the region.

“Already, calls within this Network have reduced to about 12 US cents per minute, while there are no charges for incoming calls,” President Kenyatta said.

The President said the EAC has also undertaken substantial developments aimed at establishing sufficient, reliable and affordable power supply with each member state intensifying investment in power generation and supply across the region.

To support energy projects, President Kenyatta said a regulatory framework must be developed to promote higher investment in oil & gas to benefit the people of the region.

He expressed satisfaction that the pace of sensitizing people about the integration progress is on track, saying a people-centred Community integration process is the cornerstone of the EAC Treaty.

Saying peace and stability are the foundation of all prosperity and aspiration, President Kenyatta commended EAC partner states for their firm support to peace initiatives in neighbouring Somalia and South Sudan.

Speaking during the occasion, President Kikwete commended President Kenyatta for his visionary leadership during his tenure as chairman of EAC.

He affirmed his commitment to ensuring that the integration pace does not slow down during his chairmanship.

“A lot of ground has been covered in the EAC integration agenda. I will not let you down on this journey,” President Kikwete said.

During the summit, the protocol to operationalize the extended jurisdiction of the East African Court of Justice was signed and the EAC Telepresence video conferencing system launched.

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