South Sudan Joins East African Community as Market Size Expands to 164m People

The voting exercise to elect mayors and municipal council representatives kicked off with a slow pace in most parts of Mbarara district, online majorly due to delays in delivery of electoral materials.

At most polling stations in the western municipality, the voter turn up was remarkably low.

There were also numerous complaints, for instance at the Kakyeka stadium polling stations, voters found that the ballot papers were wrongly printed.

The voter turn up was generally low

The voter turn up was generally low

In Rwebikona the voting was delayed after it was found that ballot papers were delivered to wrong polling stations.

Other polling stations that were found with abnormalities were Mandela, Kakoba quarters, Rwebikona, and Makenke barracks.

An elderly woman being helped to cast her vote

An elderly woman being helped to cast her vote

For Mbarara Municipality, the mayoral race is mainly between NRM’s Robert Kakyebezi and FDC’s Stanely Katembeya.

Mr Katembeya after casting his ballot after midday, complained of irregularities, citing intimidation of his agents by the army at polling stations around Makenke Barracks.

NRM's Robert Kakyebezi speaks to press after casting his vote

NRM’s Robert Kakyebezi speaks to press after casting his vote

He also claimed that at Kakyeka, there was ongoing campaigning on the voting day which is against the election laws.

FDC's Katembeya casting his vote at Nkokonjeru primary school polling station in Mbarara

FDC’s Katembeya casting his vote at Nkokonjeru primary school polling station in Mbarara

He blamed the low voter turn up on people’s “demisted trust in the Electoral Commission,” as well as the excessive force used by police on opposition supporters.
South Sudan has been admitted as the 6th Country in East African Community (EAC), dosage Chimp Corps report.

This will widen the market size of the region to a staggering 164 million people, troche a sizeable population capable of attracting billions of dollars in Foreign Direct Investments.

South Sudan’s admission endorsed by the Heads-of-State meeting in Arusha, what is ed Tanzania on Wednesday ends several years of waiting to join the regional economic bloc comprising Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda.

EAC’s Growth Domestic Product is estimated at $134 billion.

Observers say the move is good for South Sudan which has been struggling with a crumbling economy following a two-year devastating war.

With a peace agreement in place and rebel leader Dr Riek Machar expected in Juba soon, the country’s growth prospects remain high.

For a common market to be successful there must be a significant level of harmonisation of micro-economic policies, and common rules regarding monopoly power and other anti-competitive practices.

Knowing that they have free access to each other’s markets, members are encouraged to specialise. This means that, at the regional level, there is a wider application of the principle of comparative advantage.

The other advantage is that easier access to each other’s markets means that trade between members is likely to increase.

Trade creation exists when free trade enables high cost domestic producers to be replaced by lower cost, and more efficient imports. Because low cost imports lead to lower priced imports, there is a ‘consumption effect’, with increased demand resulting from lower prices.

Producers can benefit from the application of scale economies, which will lead to lower costs and lower prices for consumers.

It’s important to note that jobs may be created as a consequence of increased trade between member economies and firms inside the bloc are protected from cheaper imports from outside, such as the protection of the leather and garments industry from cheap imports from China.

Officials say the benefits of integration far outweigh any existing fears with strong trade ties being an important tool in enhancing peace and stability in Africa.

Magufuli speaks

Speaking at the Summit earlier today, Tanzanian leader John Pombe Magufuli expressed shock that, “As a region, we produce what we don’t consume, and consume what we do not produce.”

He emphasised: “This must stop.”

The meeting attended by Presidents Yoweri Museveni, Paul Kagame and Uhuru Kenyatta among others is discussing the model, structure and action plan of the EAC political federation; implementation of the framework for harmonized EAC roaming charges; modalities for promotion of motor vehicle assembly in the region and reduction of the importation of used motor vehicles from outside the Community.

Leaders will as well brainstorm on the promotion of the textile and leather industries in the region, and stopping importation of used clothes, shoes and other leather products from outside the region.

Head-of-state today launched the new International East African e-Passport (electronic-passport), a move that will begin the end of hard paper national passports.

Meanwhile, former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa has been appointed the new facilitator of the Burundi negotiations, taking over from president Museveni.

Also important to note, Mr Liberat Mfumukeko took over from Dr Richard Sezibera as the community’s Secretary General.

Bidding farewell to the EAC leaders, Sezibera said EAC is committed to transforming the region to an upper Middle Income status by 2050.

“The EAC has transformed into a community with a shared vision. I am proud to be an East African,” said Sezibera, adding, “It has been 5 challenging but very rewarding years for I made a change in East Africa. I thank everyone for all their support.”

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