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25th Meeting of EAC Council of Ministers Concludes in Bujumbura PDF Print E-mail

Considers application of South Sudan and Somalia to the Community

East African Community Secretariat, Arusha, 1 September 2012: The 25th Meeting of the EAC Council of Ministers concluded today in Bujumbura, Burundi with the Ministers deliberating  on a wide range of issues pertaining to the EAC regional integration and development process.

Addressing the official openning of the Ministerial session this afternoon, the Chairperson of the Council and Minister of EAC from the Republic of Kenya Hon. Musa Sirma applauded the government and people of Burundi for the warm hospitality and excellent facilities extended to delegates attending this 25th meeting of the EAC Council of Ministers.

The Chairpeson expressed the Council’s delight with the enormous development taking place in the Republic of Burundi as a result of the prevailing peace and security under the able leadership of President Pierre Nkurunziza.

“We are seeing a lot of construction works and commercial activities going on in Bujumbura and I am informed that the numbers of citizens from the other EAC Partner States visiting Burundi to explore business and other related opportunities are soaring day by day,” noted Hon. Sirma.

He said most businesses were now branding themselves EAC and the visibility of Community in Burundi had picked up greatly as a result of the government directive to all government and administrative offices to host the EAC flag alongside the national flag.

“This is very commendable and I applaud my colleague, the Minister in the Office of the Presidency in charge of EAC Affairs of the Republic of Burundi Hon. Leontine Nzeyimana for this commendable work and her dedication to the EAC integration,” affirmed the Council Chairperson.

The Chairperson informed the delegates that several milestones in the EAC integration and development process were being recorded each passing day and “we expect to see and realize more tangible benefits of the integration to our people in the coming years”.

Earlier, while addressing members of the Council, the Secretary General of the East African Community Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera was gratified to note that the people and Government of the Republic of Burundi were making remarkable progress in the socio-economic and stability of the country. He said the fruits of Burundi joining the Community were quite evident.

“We all know that such developments are founded in an atmosphere that is tranquil and I am happy to note that the Burundi leadership and the Burundi people are committed to making their country a peace haven,” noted Amb. Sezibera.

The Secretary General informed the Council that the Heads of State remain seized of the need for an expedited process on the development of enabling infrastructure and were concerned with the slow pace of the implementation of the regionally agreed infrastructure projects and programmes particularly those in railways, ports and energy.

In this context therefore Heads of States at their 13th Ordinary Summit of the East African Community (EAC) Heads of State Summit, held in November 2011, agreed to hold a Retreat focused on infrastructure development and financing as a follow up to the 1st Strategic Retreat of the Heads of State that was held in Kigali, Rwanda in June 2008, focused on infrastructure development in the region.

This  Retreat, which will be held in November 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya, will be targeting flagship priority projects in the railways, ports and energy sub sectors, the challenges hampering faster realization of these projects, the possibilities of engagement with the private sector in the development of these projects, the enhanced collaboration with the development partners and capacity of the region to coordinate the implementation of the target priority projects.

At the 25th Council meeting, the current Chair of the EAC Audit Commission and the State General Inspector of the Republic of Burundi Mr. Stany Nimpa Garitse submitted the audited accounts for the EAC Organs and Institutions for the Financial Year 2010/2011 to the Council for consideration and subsequent transmission to the East African Legislative Assembly.

Hon. Samuel Sitta, Minister of East African Cooperation led the ministerial delegation from the United Republic of Tanzania; Hon. Amelia Kyambadde Minister of Trade, Industry and Co-operatives led the Ugandan delegation; Hon. Monique Mukaruliza Minister of EAC Affairs led the Rwandan delegation; Minister in the Office of the Presidency in charge of EAC Affairs Hon. Leontine Nzeyimana was in charge of the Burundi delegation; while Hon. Dr. Oburu Odinga the Assistant Minister for Finance led the Kenyan delegation.

Some of the key decisions of the 25th meeting of the EAC Council of Ministers pertain to:

Implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol

Considerable progress is being registered in the implementation of the Protocol on the Establishment of the EAC Common Market since its launch in July 2011, though there is still need for Partner States to harmonize some of the national laws to conform to the Protocol. Partner States are in the process of constituting National Implementation Committees on Common Market Protocol to monitor closely the progress being made.

Council Bills

The Council of Ministers took note of the progress in preparation of the East African Community Privately-Funded Infrastructure Bill, 2010; the East African Community Anti-Counterfeit Bill, 2011; the East African Community One Stop Border Post Bill, 2012; and the East African Community Vehicle Load Control Bill, 2012; and directed the Sectoral Councils concerned to finalise input into these Bills by 30 September 2012.

Application of the Republic of South Sudan to Join the East African Community

A Verification Committee composed of 3 Experts from each Partner State and three (3) Experts from the Secretariat was dispatched to undertake the verification of the Application of South Sudan to join EAC from 15-31 July, 2012. The overall objective of the Verification exercise was to establish the Republic of South Sudan‘s level of conformity with the Criteria for Admission of Foreign Countries into the EAC as provided under Article 3 of the Treaty.

The Council received the Verification Committee Report but noted that some Partner States still needed more time to consult on the Report with all the key stakeholders and hence decided that the Report will be considered by the 26th Meeting of the Council in November 2012.

Application by the Republic of Somalia to join the East African Community

On 28 February 2012, HE Sharif Sheikh Ahmed of the Republic of Somalia submitted his country’s application to join the East African Community. In considering Somalia’s application, the Council was cognizant of the following:

(i) The transitional nature of governance in the Republic of Somalia under the Transitional Federal Government; and

(ii) The ongoing pacification efforts (including the Kampala Accord Regarding the Regional Political Peace Initiative and the African Union Initiatives such as the involvement of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Much as enlarging the country membership of the East African Community to include the Republic of Somalia may contribute to regional peace, security, stability and development, the matter calls for proper timing and wider consultations with other international players involved in the Somali peace initiatives. The Council directed the Secretary General to submit the application of the Republic of Somalia to the Summit.

Progress on the Monetary Union

The negotiations by the High Level Task Force (HLTF) negotiating the East African Monetary Union (EAMU) Protocol started in January, 2011 and are in progress. So far 67 provisions out of 86 draft provisions have been negotiated. The High Level Task Force undertook study tours to other Economic Communities with monetary union arrangements namely the European Union and the West African Economic and Monetary Union.

The Sectoral Council on Monetary Union will meet early September, 2012 to provide further guidance on the negotiations. In accordance with the calendar of the HLTF, the negotiations are expected to be concluded by the end of 2012. The Council took note of the progress on the negotiations on the Monetary Union Protocol

Analogue-to-Digital Broadcast Migration

Partner States are lagging behind the agreed timelines for implementing the activities contained in the Roadmap, and therefore a range of options are being considered for accelerating the digital broadcast migration programmes.

For the meantime, Partner States have been directed to -

(i) Monitor technology developments for digital broadcast receivers, with a view to developing receiver specifications that minimizes the cost of digital broadcast migration; and

(ii) Consider zero-rating duty on Set-Top-Boxes as a means of accelerating digital broadcast migration programmes.

Partner States have also agreed to zero-rate duty on Set-Top-Boxes as a means of accelerating digital broadcast migration programmes during the EAC Pre-Budget consultations for the 2012/13 Budgets.

This decision has already been adopted by the Sectoral Council of Trade Industry, Finance and Industry.

Zero draft Model and Structure of EAC Political Federation

Pursuant to the decision made by the Heads of State at the 13th Summit on the development of the East African Community model and structure of Political Federation, the Secretariat has developed a Zero draft of the Model and Structure of the EAC Political Federation.

The Council directed the Secretariat to circulate the Zero draft of the Model and Structure of the EAC Political Federation to the Partner States for comments by 20 October, 2012; convene a Retreat of Experts with a view of improving the Zero draft of the Model and Structure of the EAC Political Federation by 30 October, 2012; and submit a report to the 26th Meeting of the Council for consideration.


The Council appointed Mr. Telly Eugene Muramira (Uganda) to the position of Deputy Executive Secretary, LVBC, in charge of Projects and Programmes and Mr. Patrice Niyongabo (Burundi) to the position of Deputy Executive Secretary, LVBC, in charge of Finance and Administration; and directed the EAC Secretariat to undertake a due diligence on the persons recommended for appointment before the letters of offer of employment are issued.

Exercise Ushirikiano Imara 2012 in Rwanda

The Council was informed that the Partner States Defence Forces will be holding an Exercise Ushirikiano Imara 2012 in Gako and on Lake Kivu in Rwanda. The Council directed the Secretariat to convene a meeting of Ministers of Defence and Chiefs of Defence Forces to discuss the matter on the margins of a meeting of the International Conference on Great Lakes (ICGLR) scheduled to take place in Kampala the week of 3 September 2012.


For more information please contact: Owora Richard Othieno, Head of Department; Corporate Communications and Public Affairs; Tel: +255 784 835021; Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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