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Infrastructure

ICT4Business Brings Together Rwandese Industry and CENIT@EA to Shape the Digital Transformation

The Centre of Excellence for Information and Communication Technology in East Africa (CENIT@EA) organized the event ICT4Business on 18 July in Kigali, Rwanda. Around 40 participants from the private and public sector discussed their needs and requirements for digitalisation and how CENIT@EA can provide relevant skills, capacities and know-how to the private and public sector to enable them to reap benefits from the digital transformation.

In his opening remarks, Mr Karera, Chairman of the East African Business Council (EABC), emphasized the need for the industry to digitalise and use Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in their business processes. The Principal Information Technology Officer of the East African Community (EAC), Mr Murenzi, pointed out that digital transformation is a priority of the EAC’s 5th Development Strategy. The Senior Systems Officer of the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), Mr Ruhinda, added that CENIT@EA is a very important regional initiative providing skills and know-how for the success of the digital transformation. Ms Focken, Cluster Coordinator for EAC, pointed out in her opening remarks that a continuous exchange between industry and academia is crucial for developing needed skills and support the use of technology and innovation in East Africa.

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Thirty Five (35) EAC Priority Infrastructure Projects Completed

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 4th July, 2019: A total of 35 out of 286 projects identified by the East African Community Heads of State as priority infrastructure  development projects have been completed and are now operational.

The EAC Heads of State Joint Retreat on Infrastructure and Health Financing and Development held in Kampala, Uganda on 22nd February, 2018, approved a set of 286 priority infrastructure projects in various sectors for joint promotion and coordinated implementation by the Partner States.

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Meeting to improve Air Transport in EAC concludes in Naivasha, Kenya

 East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 20th May, 2019: The 45th East African Community Consultative Meeting aimed at improving Air Transport in the region concluded on Friday 17th May, 2019, at Lake Naivasha Resort in Naivasha, Kenya.

The EAC Consultative meeting on facilitation of Air Transport is a forum for discussion on issues that affect Air Transport in the region in order to comply with Annex 9 (Air Transport Facilitation) and Annex 17 (Aviation Security) of the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation. The meeting refers to the ICAO international standards and recommended practices and proposes appropriate recommendations to be implemented by the Partner States at the various EAC international Airports.  It is hosted by EAC Partner States, twice a year on rotational basis.

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African Development Bank to Finance major East African Community Infrastructure Projects

East African Community Secretariat, Arusha, Tanzania, 2nd December, 2018: The construction of two major trans-national road infrastructure projects within the East African Community are set to take off in 2019 with funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Mr. Gabriel Negatu, the Director General of AfDB’s Eastern Africa Regional Hub, disclosed that the Bank’s board had approved US$322 million to Burundi and Tanzania to finance the Rumonge-Gitaz and Kabingo-Kasulu-Manyovu road-upgrading project.

Mr. Negatu further said that the funds would also go towards the construction of the One Stop Border Post at Manyovu-Mugina on the Tanzania/Burundi border. Mr. Negatu said the bank would also finance the construction of the Malindi-Mombasa-Lunga Lunga/Horohoro-Tanga-Bagamoyo highway that straddles the coastlines of Kenya and Tanzania.

The AfDB official said that the bank was highly encouraged by the benefits of some of the infrastructure projects it had undertaken and cited the Athi River-Namanga-Arusha road, which had reduced from one day to four hours the journey from Nairobi to Arusha.

Mr. Negatu was speaking during the commissioning of the Namanga OSBP by the Tanzanian President Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta. Mr. Negatu said the construction and operationalization of OSBPs was in line with the Bank’s integrated approach to infrastructure development.

“This approach entails mainstreaming ‘soft’ components, such as trade facilitation measures in physical infrastructure projects to enhance their efficiency and developmental outcomes. In this context, the Bank availed US$8 million for the construction of the Namanga OSBP on the Kenyan side of the border,” he said, adding that the OSBP on the Tanzanian side had been built with funding from the Japanese government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). 

The AfDB official disclosed that the Namanga OSBP was part and parcel of the Arusha-Namanga-Athi River road construction project which was carried out with funding of approximately US$147 million comprising US$79 million from AfDB, US$49 million from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and about US$8 million from the governments of Kenya and Tanzania.

In his remarks, EAC Secretary General Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko said that the Namanga OSBP was born out of an agreement between Tanzania and Kenya to upgrade the facilities at the border post in order to facilitate free trade through the efficient movement of goods and people across the border.

“The construction of the Namanga OSBP was part of the completed works for the Arusha-Namanga-Athi River road. The project on both sides was virtually completed end of 2016 with piloting phase taking about one year,” said Amb. Mfumukeko.

Amb. Mfumukeko thanked AfDB and JICA for financial support that had enabled EAC to develop and implement soft infrastructure at the OSBP including interconnectivity, training materials and enabling laws which comprise: The East African OSBPs Act, 2016; The East African OSBPs Regulations, 2017, and; The EAC OSBPs Procedures Manual.

The Secretary General said that research had confirmed that in addition to enhancing Government revenue collections, the OSBPs had considerably reduced the overall dwell times across the EAC borders by between 50% and 70%.

Also present at the function were EAC Ministers Hon. Dr. Augustine Mahiga (Tanzania), Hon. Adan Mohammed (Kenya), East African Legislative Assembly Speaker Hon. Ngoga Martin, East African Court of Justice Judge President Emmanuel Ugirashebuja, EAC Deputies Secretary Generals in charge of Planning and Infrastructure, Eng. Steven Mlote, and of the Political Federation Mr. Charles Njoroge. The  EAC  Director General Customs and Trade, Mr. Kenneth Bagamuhunda was also present.

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified

EAC Heads of State Commission Namanga One Stop Border Post

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 1st December, 2018: Tanzanian President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta today commissioned the Namanga One Stop Border Post on the Kenya/Tanzania border. 

The two Heads of State directed border agencies to facilitate small traders by allowing them to operate freely across the borders instead of using threats to demand bribes from them.

The two Presidents said that it was unkind for border agencies to discriminate against small traders in favour of big entrepreneurs yet the former were the mainstay of the East African economies.

“We as governments are here to facilitate the people of our two countries to do business. We are not in the business of doing business,” said President Kenyatta.

President Kenyatta, however, warned that operating freely across the borders was not a blank cheque for engaging illegal business activities like smuggling, gun-running, drug-trafficking and trading in wildlife parts. He urged business people to obey the law by engaging in lawful business only.

In his remarks, President Magufuli said that one the major obstacles to cross border trade in Africa was the lack of trade facilitation, citing numerous delays at the ports, national borders and checkpoints on the roads.

President Magufuli cited a World Bank report which indicates that lack of trade facilitation increases the costs of doing business in Africa by 75%. This had hindered intra-continental trade in Africa making it lag behind other continents on this parameter.

He said that the EAC had therefore embarked on the construction of 15 One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) across the region so as to promote intra-regional trade. President Magufuli said that the completion and operationalization of the OSBPs had come with benefits especially for travellers, tourists and traders by reducing the amount of time they spent at the border.

President Magufuli noted that the operationalization of the Namanga OSBP had seen revenues on the Tanzanian side rise from TShs3 billion to TShs4.8 billion in the 2017/2018 Financial Year, adding that it was projected to increase to TShs5.8 billion in the current Financial Year.

The Tanzanian Head of State said that the OSBPs were supposed to be a catalyst for trade and warned border officials against defeating this purpose by engaging in corruption in the OSBPs.

The Heads of State further called for increased investment and trade between the two countries which they described as made of people who shared a common history, cultures and languages, adding that people from the two countries were therefore not enemies.

“We should break down the borders drawn by our former colonial powers. East Africans are one people,” said President Kenyatta. President Magufuli said Kenya was the third biggest investor in Tanzania after the United Kingdom and South Africa, and called on Tanzanian entrepreneurs as well to invest in Kenya and other EAC countries.

The two presidents thanked the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for funding the construction of the Arusha-Namanga-Athi River road.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Gabriel Negatu, the Director General of the AfDB’s Eastern Africa Regional Hub, disclosed that the Bank would finance the construction of the Malindi-Mombasa-Lunga Lunga/Horohoro-Tanga-Bagamoyo Highway at the cost of US$322 million.

The Federal Republic of Germany has also provided support to the EAC Secretariat on the operationalization of the OSBPs in particular through substantial technical cooperation. The German financed “AU Border Programme at the EAC” has supported the EAC Secretariat through GIZ to develop and validate the EAC regional training curriculum on OSBPs aimed at building the technical capacity of border agencies to better manage border crossing points in a more secured, coordinated and efficient manner.

A Training of Trainers on the OSBP regional curriculum was conducted with over three hundred officers at 12 OSBPs trained in the past two years. This year, the programme supported an assessment of the operationalisation of OSBPs and the impact of border management in the regional integration agenda as well as the development of the EAC e-immigration policy.


NOTES FOR EDITORS:
  

To date out of the 15 border posts earmarked to operate as OSBPs, 12 have been completed while 10 are now operational. The completed and operational OSBPs are Gasenyi/Nemba, Ruhwa, Rusumo, Holili/Taveta, Kagitumba/Mirama Hills, Mutukula, Kabanga/Kobero, Malaba, Busia and Namanga. The completed but non-operational OSBPs are Lunga Lunga/Horohoro and Isebania/Sirare. Those that have not been constructed are Katuna/Katuna, Kanyaru/Akanyaru and Mugina Mannyovu.

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified


East African Community
EAC Close
Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
Arusha
United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac@eachq.org