MESSAGE FROM THE EAC SECRETARY GENERAL AMB. LIBERAT MFUMUKEKO, ON THE 1ST EDITION OF THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY GAMES 2018
On behalf of the East African Community, I wish to welcome you all to the 1st Edition of the East African Community Games (EACoG 2018) and thank the Government and people of Burundi for the warm hospitality and excellent facilities that have been put at the disposal of East Africans to stage the 1st edition of EACoG 2018 in Burundi.
We meet here in Bujumbura as the East African Community integration process gathers greater momentum and indeed reaches a higher and critical stage. The encouraging progress of the East African Customs union, the enlargement of the Community with the admission of the Republic of South Sudan, the ongoing implementation of the EA Common Market, conclusion and signing of the Protocol on the establishment of the EA Monetary Union, as well as the increasing socio – cultural interactions among the East African citizens, underscore serious determination of the East African people and leadership to construct a powerful East African economic and political bloc.
The East African Community Games are being held for the first time in line with Article 119 of the Treaty for the establishment of the EAC, following a decision by the 20th meeting of the EAC Council of Ministers to have the Community hold regular Sports Tournaments on rotational basis in partnership with the private sector, civil society, voluntary organizations / institutions / individuals and Development Partners. The Council was indeed mindful of the important role Sports can play towards reinforcing the spirit of East African Unity and Development and galvanizing a passionate, visionary and broad participation among the East African people, reflecting the basic principle of a people-centered regional integration.
The aim of the EAC Games is to foster regional integration and solidarity among the people of East Africa through sports by providing a regional platform to share our sporting talents within the East African Community; enhance solidarity and promote co- operation and integration through inclusive sport among the people of East Africa, enhance the free cross border movement of people, boost local and international tourism and promote sports as a tool for economic development.
The 1st Edition of the EAC Games is being held under the theme “Fostering EAC Integration and Peace through Sports”. It is our sincere hope that as East Africans meet in Bujumbura for the fourteen days, they will not only compete for medals and trophies in the various sporting disciplines but also take time to celebrate and share the sporting talents in acknowledgement of their great importance and significance in strengthening of common identity as East Africans. We would like this to be an occasion for us to appreciate the significance of coming together as East Africans to interact and share experiences in order to foster that social cohesion, promote peace and unity amongst our people in East Africa.
Allow me to express my profound appreciation to all Partner States for your dedication to the regional integration agenda for which you have been able to support and facilitate your respective contingents of sports men and women to participate in these Games. In addition, I wish to salute all sports men and women as well as their coaches for enduring long periods of training in preparation of this event. I also wish to thank the organizing Committee of this events for their tireless efforts to ensure that this event is made a success.
May I conclude by wishing all the sports people and spectators an exciting 1st edition of the EAC Games. It is my sincere hope that the event will be an opportunity to meet new people and create lifelong friendships that will widen and deepen the East African integration.
I thank you all