Coordinating, harmonising and complementing transport and communications policies; improving and expanding the existing transport and communication links; and establishing new ones as a means of furthering the physical cohesion of the Partner States, so as to facilitate and promote the movement of traffic within the Community.
EAC and Infrastructure
Infrastructure is one of the most critical enablers of a successful regional integration, taking into account its importance in facilitating activities such as trade, agriculture, tourism and the movement of labour and other resources. The sector has the following sub-sectors:
- Inland waterways
It is in this regard that the Treaty for the establishment of the East African Community states that the Partner States’ provision of basic infrastructure shall be one of the Operational Principles of the Community.
It outlines in greater detail the need for co-operation in infrastructure and services within the EAC and identifies the key aspects of this co-operation and these include: harmonisation of regulatory laws, rules and practices; construction and maintenance of infrastructure in Partner States and review and re-design of intermodal transport systems, among others.
Transport Systems in the EAC
The EAC operates five modes of transport systems consisting of road, rail, maritime, air transport and oil pipeline. The EAC recognises that regional infrastructure interventions are key to attracting investment into the region, improving competitiveness, and promoting trade.
The infrastructure and support services sub-sector covers roads, railways, civil aviation, maritime transport and ports, multi-modal transport, freight administration and management. A number of Tripartite Agreements have been reached in the field of infrastructure including Road Transport, and Inland Waterway Transport aimed at providing a facilitative instrument to regulate inland waterways transport, particularly across Lake Victoria.
The transport system in Tanzania and Kenya, in addition to supporting national economic development, acts as a vital transit network for the neighbouring landlocked countries of the Lake Victoria Basin region being Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Partner States have implemented sector reforms aimed at efficient provision of services with the ultimate goal of substantially reducing the current high cost of transport in the region. These reforms include the formation of regulatory authorities and operational agencies and privatisation of operations.