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All set for the Joint EAC Heads of State Retreat on Infrastructure and Health Financing and Development in Kampala, Uganda

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 19th January, 2018:

The EAC Secretariat in collaboration with the EAC Partner States and International Development Partners are in the final preparations for the Joint EAC Heads of State Retreat on Infrastructure and Health Financing and Development scheduled for 21st -22nd February, 2018 at Speke Resort Munyonyo, in Kampala, Uganda.

The joint Heads of State Retreat themed Deepening and widening regional integration through Infrastructure and Health Sector Development in the EAC Partner States’’ is aimed at  accelerating the attainment of the objectives of the EAC Development Strategy, African Union Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals in the infrastructure and health sectors in the EAC.

The Heads of State will address infrastructure and health development and financing in East Africa. The Retreat will be followed by the 19th Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State to be held in Kampala on 23rd February, 2018.

The Retreat is expected to give impetus to infrastructure and health development by way of harnessing political support for regional flagship projects, funding commitments, and Public-Private Partnerships arrangements.

The retreat will be preceded by the separate infrastructure and health sector investors’ and donors’ round-tables on 21st February 2018. Also to be held prior to the Retreat will be Ministerial Session of the 36th Meeting of the Council of Ministers and the Ministerial Session of the 35th Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the Council.

The separate donor round tables will be held at ministerial level and will review progress of implementation of previously prioritized infrastructure projects and deliberate on investment opportunities and funds mobilization strategies for quicker delivery of prioritized regional infrastructure and health projects.

The Retreat Programme includes an International Infrastructure and Health Sector Exhibition that will run from 21st to 22nd February, 2018. The Exhibition will provide a platform for players in the Infrastructure and Health sectors to showcase new products and services as well as exhibit the latest advances in research and innovation.

Focus areas of the retreat under the infrastructure sector

The joint retreat is being convened at a time when the region’s 10-year infrastructure priorities that were agreed upon during the 3rd Heads of State Retreat held on 29th November, 2014 in Nairobi have transitioned from the conception phase to the implementation phase.

The joint retreat will among other things review the status of implementation of the priority projects including relevant policy directives, mobilization of the required financing and implementation of the resolutions proposed to address the challenges observed at the 3rd Retreat.

The retreat will target key priority projects in railways, ports and inland waterways, energy and connecting roads prioritized to de-congest the cities and enhance logistics at the ports. Likewise, as agreed during the 3rd Retreat, the 4th Retreat is expected to receive a report on the projects and programmes of the civil aviation and airports sub sectors.

Further, the Heads of State will consider the strategies being developed to engage with the private sector in the development of these projects, the enhanced collaboration with the development partners (in particular African Development Bank (AfDB) under the Programme for Infrastructure Development for Africa (PIDA); the World Bank, the EU, JICA and TMEA among other development partners. 

Focus areas of the retreat under the health sector

The Joint Retreat is being held at a time when the EAC Partner States are expanding the capacity for the delivery of high quality health services, training and research such as through the AfDB/Partner States’ financed regional centers of excellence (RCoE) for Kidney Diseases (Kenya); Heart Diseases (Tanzania); Cancer (Uganda); e-Health, Biomedical Engineering and Health Rehabilitation Sciences (Rwanda); and Vaccines, Immunization and Health Supply Chain Management (Rwanda).

With support from the Federal Republic of Germany (through the German Development Bank), the Partner States are also jointly operationalizing an EAC Regional Network of Reference Laboratories for Communicable Diseases (including rapid deployment of state of the art mobile diagnostic medical laboratories) to strengthen the region’s capacity to diagnose and respond to pathogens of biosafety level 3 and 4 nature and other infectious diseases, prone to cause cross-border epidemics.

The retreat will provide policy guidance on: the EAC’s agenda to eliminate HIV/AIDS and preventable maternal and child deaths by 2030; advance medical tourism; strengthen pandemic preparedness and response; enhance local manufacturing of medicines and health products, and; catalyze job creation through the health sector thereby ultimately expanding and consolidating health sector contribution to the socio-economic development of the region.  

Participants

The retreat is expected to have about 700 participants including local and international exhibitors. Ministers, Permanent/Principal Secretaries and Senior Officials from government institutions and agencies; high-level guests from the international community including AU, Heads of State from the Tripartite (COMESA, EAC and SADC), ECOWAS, IGAD and sub-regional organizations are expected to attend.

Also expected are multi-lateral and bi-lateral development partners, international financial institutions, corridor management agencies, local and international investors/private sector, Universities, and civil society and EAC Organs and Institutions.

Exhibition

Exhibitors will include Pharmaceutical and Medical Technologies Manufactures and Dealers; Health Insurance Providers; Regional Centres of Excellence for Healthcare; Network of Reference Laboratories; Traditional/alternative Medicine Producers, Infrastructure Contractors (Ports, Railways, Airlines, Oil and Gas); Investment Banks; Telecommunication Companies; Civil Society Organizations; among others.

The registration fees for participation in the international health and infrastructure exhibitions is categorized as follows:

  • Platinum = US$ 3,000 for 2 days
  • Gold = US$ 2,000 for 2 days
  • Silver = US$ 1,000 for 2 days

For more information on participation, registration and exhibition fees requirements, please go through the retreat website: www.eacihr17.eac.int     

-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 2008:9001 Certified

The 43rd EAC Consultative Meeting of Facilitation of Air Transport held in Uganda

EAC Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 28th November 2017:

The 43rd EAC Consultative Meeting on Facilitation of Air Transport (EAC FAL), was  held  from 22nd to 24th November 2017 in Fort Portal, Uganda. 

The meeting is a forum for discussion  on issues that affect Air Transport in the region in order to comply with Annex 9 of the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation (Air Transport Facilitation) which requires every State to adopt all required measures to prevent unnecessary delays to aircraft, crews, passengers, and cargo, especially in the administration of the laws relating to immigration, quarantine, customs and clearance.

The meeting refers to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards and recommended practices and proposes appropriate recommendations to be implemented by the Partner States at the various Airports especially those approved as EAC Priority Airports. It is hosted by EAC Partner States, two times a year, on rotational basis.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Katushabe, Commissioner, Transport Regulation and Safety, Ministry of Works and Transport, Uganda  on behalf of the Minister for Works and Transport, informed the meeting that air transport plays a key role in the promotion of trade, tourism and economic growth of the region. 

He reminded the participants that Air Transport facilitation is an important aspect of aviation and the EAC airports have to continuously enhance capacity of existing infrastructure to be able to cope with future aviation demands, meet international requirements and to contend with the ever changing threats against Civil Aviation. 

He pointed out that the solutions to the challenges civil aviation faces with regard to infrastructure, safety, security and environmental concerns require a consultative approach in a forum like this.

The 43rd EAC Consultative meeting started with a visit of the various facilities at the Entebbe International Airport. The participants commended the Republic of Uganda for improvements in Air transport facilitation including the capacity improvement of the immigration at arrival, expansion of space for the duty free area and at various lounges, improved baggage handling system with improved security system, full internet access within the Airport, upgraded passenger handling system, and the ongoing works for expansion and upgrading of the Airport including the cargo terminal.

The meeting further discussed and agreed among other recommendations, to ensure continuous improvement of clearance processes at the EAC Airports, to introduce online payment systems for all Air operators, to fully implement paperless immigration process, to share information on people involved in theft/losses/damages of baggage and other valuable items at EAC airports for monitoring purposes, and to increase their non-aeronautical revenue streams so as to reach a 30:70 ratio by 2020.

The meeting concluded with a tour to various tourist attractions of Fort Portal in Western Uganda including Semirik hot springs, kigere crater and Omukama’s palace.

Representatives from Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Civil Aviation and Airport Authorities, Airlines, Customs, Immigration and other Aviation stakeholders from the EAC Partner States as well as representatives from the EAC Secretariat and Civl Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency attended the meeting.

-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 2008:9001 Certified

4th Extraordinary Sectoral Council on Transport, Communication and Meteorology held in Arusha

EAC Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 21st November, 2017:

The 4th Extraordinary Sectoral Council on Transport, Communication and Meteorology (TCM) to consider and approve status of implementation of the Directives of the 3rd Heads of State (HoS) Infrastructure Retreat, to update  the HoS Priority Infrastructure Projects, and to approve proposed flagship projects was held on 13th – 15th November, 2017 at the EAC Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania.

Speaking at the opening session, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Planning and Infrastructure, Eng. Steven Mlote informed the meeting that the implementation of the proposed flagship projects which have high impact on regional integration and social - economic growth of the region required an investment amounting to more than US$ 55 billion.

Eng. Mlote  called for joint efforts between all stakeholders including Partner States, co-operating partners and the private sector in order to realize the huge financial investments required for infrastructure development in the bloc.

On his  part, the Chair of the Extraordinary Sectoral Council and Uganda’s Minister of State for Works and Transport, Hon. Aggrey Bagiire  informed the meeting that infrastructure plays an important role in promoting regional integration hence the need to continuously enhance capacities of existing infrastructure to cope with future demands and to meet International standards and requirements.

The Sectoral Council reviewed the key achievements since the 3rd Heads of State Infrastructure Retreat held in November 2014, which include;

  • Construction of Makebuko – Butaganzwa and Ruygi - Cankuzo roads (Burundi);
  • Construction of Phase 1 of Standard Gauge Railway from Mombasa to Nairobi (Kenya);
  • Construction of 2nd Container Terminal – Kipevu West Phase I at Mombasa Port increasing container handling capacity by 550 TEUs.;
  • Construction of a new single point mooring, one stop centre, expanded gates and improved access roads at the Port of Da es Salaam;
  • Upgrading of the Ndumbi Port on Lake Nyasa (Tanzania); Construction of Voi- Taveta road (Kenya);
  • Construction of the road between Simiyu/Mara border and Sirari/Isebania (Tanzania);
  • Road upgrades in Dar es Salaam; and Construction of 120 KM of 10- inch diameter oil pipeline (i.e. line 6) parallel to existing one from Sinendet to Kisumu (Kenya).

Among the flagship infrastructure projects approved by the 4th Extraordinary Sectoral Council in a bid for intra -EAC bloc development/integration and connection to its neighbouring countries includes;

  • Construction of a new crude oil pipeline from Hoima (Uganda) to Tanga (Tanzania) (1,443km) plus Hoima Oil Refinery in Uganda;
  • Construction of Mombasa – Nairobi – Malaba – Jinja Expressway (Kenya and Uganda);
  • Development of EAC-based Airports and EAC Unified Upper Flight Information Region;
  • Construction to standard gauge railway of the Dar es Salaam – Isaka – Mwanza and Isaka -Kigali/ Keza –Gitega – Musongati (Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi);
  • Construction to standard gauge of Uvinza – Musongati Railway line (Tanzania and Burundi, Construction to standard gauge of the Mombasa – Nairobi – Malaba – Kampala-Kigali line with Malaba – Nimule Juba spur (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan) Construction of Dar es Salaam to Chalinze Expressway (144km) in Tanzania;
  • LAPSSET Corridor Development (Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia),  the Construction of Rusizi Hydro power Project (Burundi, Rwanda and DRC), Construction of Rufiji Hydropower Project at Stiegler’s Gorge along the Rufiji River, 2100 MW (Tanzania), and Development of Zanzibar Ports among others.

The meeting also approved “Development of Resilient Infrastructure to Accelerate Industrialization, Support Trade to Foster Socio-Economic Transformation in the EAC’’ as the theme of the 4th HoS Infrastructure Retreat.

The meeting recommended to the Council to consider and adopt the proposed new projects and to request the Heads of State to champion the implementation of the proposed flagship projects.

-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 2008:9001 Certified

The Secretary General of the East African Community, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko( L) shake hands with Director General of the African Development Bank, East Africa Regional Resource Centre, (EARC), Mr. Gabriel Negatu after the signing ceremony

EAC gets US$ 1,515,515 Grant from AfDB to Finance key Multinational Road Sections between Masaka, Uganda and Kumunazi, Tanzania

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 14th November, 2017:

The African Development Bank East Africa Regional Resource Centre (EARC), and the East African Community (EAC) on Monday 13th November, 2017 signed a Financing Agreement of $1,151,515 to finance the Project Preparation Phase of three (3) key Multinational Road Sections between Masaka in Uganda to Kumunazi in Tanzania.

The Secretary General of the East African Community, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko signed on behalf of the Community while Mr. Gabriel Negatu, Director General of the African Development Bank East Africa Regional Resource Centre (EARC), signed on behalf of African Development Bank.

The purpose of the Grant is to finance the Project Preparation Phase of three (3) key Multinational Road Sections between Masaka in Uganda to Kumunazi in Tanzania. The key Multinational Road Sections covered under this Grant for preparatory works include:  Masaka to Mutukula Section (89.5km) in Uganda; Mutukula to Kyaka Section (30km) in Tanzania as well as Bugene to Kasulo to Kumunazi Section (133kM) also located in Tanzania.

At the same occasion, the EAC presented a list of 18 priority projects to be supported by the Bank under its Regional Integration Strategy Paper(RISP) 2017-2021

Presence at the signing ceremony were the EAC Deputy Secretaries General in charge of Planning and Infrastructure , Eng Steven Mlote, Counsel to the Community, Dr. Anthony Kafumbe, Executive Secretary of Lake Victoria Basin Commission( LVBC), Dr. Said Ali Matano and Executive Secretary of East African Health Research Commission (EAHRC), Prof Gibson Kibiki.

-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 2008:9001 Certified

Presidents Magufuli and Museveni Launch Mutukula One-Stop Border Post

East African Community Secretariat, Arusha, Tanzania, 10th November, 2017:

H.E. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania and H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda together with EAC Secretary General Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko, East African Community Secretary General, on Thursday officially launched the Mutukula One Stop Border Post (OSBP) located on the Uganda/Tanzania border.

The construction of the Mutukula OSBP was carried out with funding of US$11.7million from the United Kingdom through the Department for International Development (DFID) while the systems and other related soft infrastructure equivalent to US$1.2million was funded by the Government of Canada, through Global Affairs, Canada.

The OSBP investment includes office buildings, roads and parking yards, cargo verification bays, scanner shed, passenger sheds, targeting booths, warehouse and canopies, ICT networks and hardware, furniture, and institutional support to the border agencies.

The OSBP ensures effective border control mechanisms are in place. It will boost trade by cutting the time taken to clear goods between the two Partner States, thus contributing to a reduction in transport cost, whilst increasing volumes of transhipment cargo through the Central Corridor. It is expected that time to cross the border will reduce by at least one third.

An OSBP is a “one stop” form of border crossing point jointly managed by adjoining Partner States, where multiple border agencies cooperate and collaborate with each other, and effectively coordinate their activities to maximise their operational efficiency. OSBP arrangement brings together under one roof, all the Government agencies performing border crossing controls procedures, doing away with need for motorised traffic and persons to undergo clearance twice at both sides of the border. This arrangement expedites movement, release and clearance of goods and persons across borders, by streamlining border procedures, automation of the border processes and simplification of trade documents.

 “I want to thank the British government who have supported us through TMEA, in the construction of the one stop border post making it easy to cross the borders and also to do business with Tanzania. Trade is a means that will help us create prosperity for the people.  My government is committed to creating wealth and jobs for the people through creation of enabling environment for services, Information Communication Technology, commercial agriculture and industries,” said President Museveni.  

Addressing the crowd in Kiswahili and directing that only three police road blocks between Dar-es-Saalam and Mutukula are official, President Magufuli commended TMEA for its support to the government and underscored the importance of the OSBP saying

“Since time immemorial, Mutukula has been and remains an important node of Tanzania and Uganda. Its importance goes beyond the residents of the two countries as I understand that over 400 World Food Programme trucks carrying food aid for refugees go through here, so the faster clearance is benefiting not only our traders, but also persons in need, and that is important. I am happy that as a result of the OSBP in Mutukula, Tanzania is now able to collect revenue from agencies like Tanzania Bureau of Standards, who were initially not represented at this border point, but are now here because of the OSBP,” said President Magufuli.

In his remarks, EAC Secretary General Amb. Mfumukeko said that the framers of the EAC integration instruments envisioned the OSBPs and embedded them in the EAC Customs Union Protocol at the time of its negotiation.

“The first OSBP operations was at Malaba railway station between Uganda and Kenya over ten years ago. At the same time Customs Departments having realized that multiple examination of goods at our internal borders was wasteful and caused unnecessary costs to business, started joint examination of cargo of which Mutukula Border was a pioneer.  These pilot programmes provided a practical justification for upscaling the One Stop Border program in the entire region,” said Amb. Mfumukeko.

UKAID has provided over US$52million to the East African Transit Improvement Programme (EATIP) through TMEA, as a contribution to the World Banks’ East Africa Trade and Transport Facilitation Project (EATTFP).

Speaking at the event, the UK High Commissioner to Uganda, Peter West said that increasing Uganda’s trade with its neighbours and the rest of the world was vital for generating growth, promoting job creation and reducing poverty.

“Increasing Uganda’s trade with its neighbors and the rest of the World is vital for generating growth, promoting job creation and reducing poverty. The UK government is proud to have contributed over £90 million through TradeMark East Africa to support Uganda and Tanzania to reduce the barriers to trade. By cutting red tape, reforming customs processes and improving roads, ports, and border posts, the UK is supporting the creation of an environment essential for businesses to grow,” said West.

The envoy added that the completion of the Mutukula border post marks an important milestone towards our goal of reducing by a third the time to import from the EAC and the rest of the world.

Over the years, delays in cross border clearance were attributed to duplication of handling procedures on either side of the border, poor institutional arrangement and cargo management systems inadequate physical infrastructures and services and immigration management. The new established OSBP has already addressed some of these challenges. Surveys indicate that since operationalisation of the OSBP early this year, the time to cross from Uganda to Tanzania has reduced by 66% from 10 hours in 2011 to 3.4 hours 27 minutes in June 2017. Whereas, crossing from Tanzania to Uganda has reduced by 90% from 46 hours to 4.5 in June 2017.  

Trade Mark East Africa CEO Frank Matsaert said that the completion and operationalisation of the Mutukula OSBP is a crucial milestone in increasing access to markets and the facilitation of the movement of cargo along the Central Corridor.

“When initially investing $12 million with our donors, the United Kingdom and Canada, greater access to markets, increased efficiency that would reduce costs by reducing time and improved infrastructure were just a few of our end goals. Ultimately, our projects in physical infrastructure and automation of key government trade processes like customs, have complemented each other to reduce the cost of doing business and boost trade volumes, increasing both Uganda’s and Tanzania’s overall trade competitiveness. Most importantly, they have contributed to governments being businesses being able to expand thus creating jobs, said Matsaert.

Official data shows that an average of 542 vehicles (310 of those cargo trucks) pass through the Mutukula-Mutukula crossing from Central Corridor into Uganda.

TMEA through its donors and in partnership with the East Africa Community has since 2010 supported 15 OSBPs in East Africa including South Sudan and has invested about US$117 million in OSBPs and access roads. They are: Kenya and Uganda’s Busia/Busia, Kenya and Uganda’s Malaba/Malaba, Rwanda and Uganda’s Kagitumba/Mirama Hills, Tanzania and Uganda’s Mutukula/Mutukula, Kenya and Tanzania’s Holili/Taveta, South Sudan and Uganda Nimule/Elegu, Burundi and Tanzania’s Kobero/Kabanga and lastly Tunduma on the Tanzanian side.

-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 2008:9001 Certified

Stakeholder Workshop on Integrated Corridor Development - Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme opens in Bujumbura

East African Community Secretariat, Bujumbura, Burundi, November 3, 2017:

A two-day workshop on the Integrated Corridor Development Initiative—Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme organized by the East African Community and the Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency in close collaboration with the World Bank is underway at the Le Panoramique Hotel in Bujumbura, Burundi.

The objectives of the workshop are threefold: to identify and support project packaging to be included in the Programme for matching with available funds and additional fund mobilization; identify the next steps to finalize programme design and move to its implementation, and; identify potential Development Partners and investors to support the programme.

The workshop will give an opportunity to Partner States and regional organizations to highlight the projects they would like to be considered under the LTTP. In addition, Development Partners will also make presentations on projects they are committed to support.

Opening the workshop, Burundi’s Minister for Transport, Public Works and Equipment, Hon Jean Bosco Ntunzwenimana, underscored the importance of infrastructure development in the region and called for more financial support from stakeholders both in public and private sectors to implement all the project under Lake Tanganyika Programme.

Hon. Ntunzwenimana thanked the World Bank for supporting the Integrated Corridor Development initiative in and its continued commitment in supporting the implementation of the intermodal projects.

The Minister said improving connective infrastructure and removing policy barriers to trade can help drive economic diversification, the creation of new jobs and poverty reduction. He challenged member states to improve the regional transport network, in sustainable manner because it is essential for competitive and improved integration into the region and global market.

On his part, the EAC Director General—Customs and Trade, Mr. Kenneth Bagamuhunda, said that the Community recognizes that an integrated and efficient transport system is critical for attaining socio-economic development at the desired pace.

Mr. Bagamuhunda noted that the Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme represents yet another coordinated initiative between Partners States, Development Partners and Regional Organizations to deliver an integrated, efficient and cost effective transport system in the regions.

The Director General (DG) who represented the EAC Secretary General Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko emphasized the importance of infrastructure and efficient transport systems to the regional economic development in the EAC remains imperative.

“It is also apparent that required investment to deliver infrastructure projects to bridge the existing infrastructure deficit at a desired pace, cannot be achieved single-handedly by respective Governments,” added the DG.

Mr. Bagamuhunda commended the World Bank for their commitment to support the Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme.

The World Bank, Country Director in Burundi, Mr. Nestor Coffi, said that the Bank recognizes that regional integration plays a critical role in connecting people to markets, both within Africa and the global economy.

He reaffirmed Bank’s commitment to support the Riparian Countries, EAC, Central Corridor for Transport and Trade Facilitation, as well as Lake Tanganyika Authority, to design and implement infrastructure development programmes.

NOTES TO EDITORS

In 2014, the East African Community in collaboration with the World Bank commissioned a study to define an Integrated Corridor Development in EAC Countries (the Intermodal Strategy). The Strategy was endorsed for implementation during the Heads of State Retreat on Infrastructure Development and Financing held in Nairobi on 29th November 2014. The Strategy identified a mix of physical and institutional interventions to facilitate the implementation of an efficient and cost effective inter-modal transport system along the East African corridors.

The interventions have been packaged into a program for Integrated Corridor Development in EAC Countries comprising of (i) Lake Victoria Transport Program, (ii) Lake Tanganyika Transport Program (iii) Capacity building interventions and (iv) Restoring and strengthening of the physical infrastructure for ports and surface transport system. Implementation of the LVTP under this program has already commenced and the 2ndphase of the integrated corridor initiative will involve implementation of projects under the Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme.

Initiatives for integrated corridor development have also been undertaken by the Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency (CCTTFA) along the Central Corridor. In March 2015, the Central Corridor Presidential Round Table endorsed the Corridor Acceleration Initiative and tasked the Central Corridor Secretariat to coordinated resource mobilization to implement the identified programme. In the course of implementation of the corridor Acceleration initiative, a Central Corridor High Level Consultative Meeting held in July 2017 Kigoma, Tanzania; prioritized and developed an Action Plan for the ‘’Lake Tanganyika Integrated Transport Programme.

- 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.

EAC Secretary General Addresses the Media Ahead of the Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme Workshop

The East African Community Bujumbura, Burundi, 1st November, 2017: 

The East African Community Secretary General, Amb Liberat Mfumukeko, on Tuesday addressed the Media on the upcoming Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme workshop to be held from 2nd to 3rd November, 2017 in Bujumbura, Burundi.

The Secretary General was accompanied by the Chair of the EAC Council of Ministers and Uganda’s Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Affairs, Rt Hon. Kirunda Kivejinja, the Executive Secretary of Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency, Captain Dieudonne Dukundane, and the Executive Director of Lake Tanganyika Authority, Engineer Nibirantije Jean-Marie.

Speaking at the press conference Amb. Mfumukeko said he was delighted at the take-off of the Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme saying the programme would yield tangible benefits for ordinary East Africans.

“Lake Tanganyika is uniquely placed to provide intermodal linkages between Tripartite Regional Economic blocks of EAC, COMESA and SADC and therefore a critical conduit not only for transport needs but also for wider economic benefits,” said Amb. Mfumukeko.

Amb. Mfumukeko told the press that the World Bank had committed about US$500 million to support the Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme. He however called for more support from other Development Partners by way of project uptakes, co-financing and blending.

The Secretary General said that Investment in infrastructure projects continues to receive the utmost political attention by the EAC Heads of States as expressed during their biennial retreats on infrastructure development and financing.

He said successful implementation of the Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme was expected to result into numerous benefits for the riparian states and the communities around the Lake.

On his part, the EAC Council of Ministers Chairperson, Rt Hon Kirunda Kivejinja, thanked the World Bank for supporting the Integrated Corridor Development initiative in EAC through the Intermodal Strategy.

He assured East Africans that the Community was fully committed to putting in place an integrated transport system with the Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme as part of the system.

“I wish to re-affirm the EAC’s commitment to building an efficient and reliable transport infrastructure that will spur economic growth and development throughout East Africa,” said Hon. Kivejinja.

The Executive Secretary of the Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency, Captain Dieudonne Dukundane, emphasized the importance of Lake Tanganyika in providing intermodal linkages between the EAC, COMESA and SADC.

Captain Dukundane said Lake Tanganyika was critical for promoting movement of people and goods within the East African region.

READ PRESS STATEMENT

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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.

14th Meeting of the Sectoral Council on Transport, Communications and Meteorology (TCM) concluded in Mombasa, Kenya

East African Community Secretariat; Arusha, Tanzania; 06 July 2017:

The 14th Meeting of the Sectoral Council on Transport, Communications and Meteorology (TCM) was held in Mombasa, Kenya from 26th – 30th June 2017 to consider the status of implementation of projects and programmes in the roads, railways, civil aviation and airports, maritime, meteorology and communications sectors.

Also in the agenda was the consideration of preparations for the 4th Retreat of the EAC Heads of State on Infrastructure Development, implementation progress of studies, engineering designs and construction of multinational roads linking Partner States, status of One Stop Border Posts (OSBP), development of standard gauge railway (SGR) and improvement of the projects at the ports of Dar es Salaam, Mombasa and new port of Lamu.

In the civil aviation sector, the meeting considered the progress towards liberalization of air transport within the EAC and approved a framework for seamless upper air traffic control in the Community.

The Sectoral Council directed Partner States to complete the ratification of the EAC Protocol on Cooperation in Meteorology Services and also to migrate from mercury-based weather observation systems, in line with the Minamata Convention. Noting that the delay by Burundi and Tanzania to implement the EAC Roaming Framework was denying East Africans the benefits of affordable communication services.

Addressing the meeting during the official opening of the ministerial session, the Minister of State for Transport, Republic of Uganda and Chairperson of the Sectoral Council on Transport, Communications and Meteorology (TCM) Hon. Aggrey Henry Bagiire, pointed out the critical role that infrastructure plays in the development of Partner States. He recognized various infrastructure development initiatives that are being implemented across the region, including the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) development projects and acknowledged the commitment of Heads of States in infrastructure development.

Hon. Bagiire called for Partner States to put more efforts on among others, harmonization of policies, laws and regulation in supporting the coordination work of the Secretariat to sustain the pace of infrastructure development in the region.

On preparations for the 4th Heads of States Retreat, the Minister requested the Secretariat to promptly and properly involve the Ministers/Cabinet Secretaries.

In attendance were Ministers/Cabinet Secretary; Permanent/Principal Secretaries; and delegates from Partner States, EAC Organs and Institutions, and cooperating organizations.


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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

Meeting of the Heads of Meteorological Services held in Arusha

East African Community Secretariat; Arusha, Tanzania; 27 June 2017:

A 3-day meeting of the  Heads of Meteorological Service  to spearhead the development of the Meteorological Sector in the region concluded at the EAC headquarters  in Arusha,Tanzania on 21st July 2017.

Addressing participants at the opening session, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Planning and Infrastructure Eng. Steven D.M Mlote, informed the meeting that the provision of accurate and timely weather and climate information provides useful inputs into sectors such as agriculture; livestock development and food security; road, air and maritime transport; building and construction industry; health and public safety; disaster management and water resources management among others.

He further informed the meeting that the ratification of the EAC Protocol on the Cooperation in Meteorological Services was one of the key priorities. The protocol, once fully implemented, will rekindle the glory of the East African Meteorological Services. He called upon Partner States to fast track the ratification process.

Eng. Mlote requested the Heads of the Meteorological Services to explore new avenues in the unexplored territories to make the sector more visible. Some of the new opportunities worthy exploring includes: Weather Services for the Road Transport to reduce road fatalities associated with bad weather; Weather Services to the Health Sector; Weather Services for the New Standard Railways; Weather Services to support the new digital television broadcasting services; and Development of an EAC weather forecasting platform.

In his remarks the Chairman Dr. Festis Luboyera, Executive Director of Uganda National Meteorological Authority informed generally the seasonal March to May season was well forecasted and in line with the forecast made by the National Meteorological Services. He encouraged partner states to work with development partners to stabilize food security.

Director of Infrastructure (DI) at the EAC Secretariat, Dr Kamugisha Kazaura promised that the EAC Secretariat will continue to support the Meteorological Services and explore avenues through which the EAC can facilitate in supporting acquiring capital equipment to improve service delivery.

Among the key output of the meeting was the formation of a taskforce to assess the optimum number of weather stations and location of Radar Stations to avoid duplication of efforts and save on costs of procurement of meteorological instruments and equipment.

The meeting was attended by Heads of the Meteorological Services, Representative of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Weather Information Service Africa (WISER), IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC) as well as  USAID PREPARED.


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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

Assembly Nods Report on Rail Infrastructure

East African Legislative Assembly; Kigali, Rwanda; 10 March 2017:
The regional Assembly is recommending for the improvement of the extensive rail network and penetration in the region. With the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway underway, EALA wants the region to enhance information sharing on the upgrade of the rail network especially that concerning the timelines by Partner States given that the construction is at different levels. In the same regard, Partner States should continue with rehabilitation of the existing railway networks to complement the new ones.

A report of the Committee on Communication, Trade and Investments adopted by the House late yesterday afternoon recommends that Partner States should set aside annual budgets to sustainably fund the implementation of railway projects in the region.

The Committee further recommends that the East African Community should create an EAC infrastructure fund.

The report presented to the House by the Chair of the Committee on Communication, Trade and Investment, Hon. Fred Mukasa Mbidde, follows an oversight activity of the railway infrastructure in the Partner States undertaken on December 12th – 15th, 2016, in the Partner States.  The objectives of the workshop were to: understand the status of the Railways Master plan in the EAC; as well as that of EAC specific Partner States’ Railway Infrastructure development and thereafter come up with recommendations.

The Committee further reviewed the EAC Railways Master Plan identifying a number of issues including high cost of transport making products expensive and international trade uncompetitive.  At the same time, there are low freight volumes, reduced market share for railways.  The Committee takes note of a weak business regulatory environment in the transport and rail sub-sector.  It calls for strategic leadership and review of national policies and laws on the rail as well as enhanced public private partnerships.  The Committee further emphasises the need for development of excellence in railway capacity building, ICT and technology development.

According to the report, a feasibility study for the Isaka - Kigali / Keza - Musonagati Railway Project, was done in March 2009 including the Upgrade of the Dar es salaam - Isaka Railway Line and this would ideally serve the Republic of Burundi.

The preliminary field studies on the Dar es Salaam - Isaka line were also undertaken to determine the requirements for converting the existing meter gauge track to an AREMA-based (North American) standard gauge track and offered suggestions.

Kenya is implementing the railway infrastructure as per the EAC Railways Master Plan.  The country is constructing the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) projects for Vision 2030, and these include the Mombasa – Malaba route in phase one while phase two includes the Nairobi - Malaba sector.

The use of local content is pegged at 40% of the Civil Works contract with an amount of KShs 81 Billion spent to facilitate supply of cement, sand, aggregates, transport equipment, earthmovers, hygiene and food items, general purpose steels and timber. Similarly included are small contracts such as drainage works, slopes protection, labour contracts as well as clearing and forwarding. 

The report states that in order for SGR not to disrupt the operations of the National Park, a number of mitigations are in place.   The SGR according to the report crosses the park on a single line bridge spanning the total width of the Park (6.0 Km) and its average height starts at 8 metres at the entrance into the northern side of the Park and 41 metres at the exit on the southern end of the Park.

In Tanzania, the SGR will traverse the Northern and Tanga development corridor as well as the Southern/Mtwara development corridor.

In Uganda, the report alludes to the fast tracking of the development of Standard Gauge Railway in order to significantly contribute to transforming the country in to a middle- income status. It is envisaged that a total of 1,724Km will be constructed countywide in phases.

As provided for under Article 91 of the Treaty for the establishment of East African Community, the Partner States agreed to establish and maintain co-ordinated railway services that would efficiently connect the Partner states within the Community and, where necessary, to construct additional railway connections.

During debate, Hon. Ole Nkanae Saoli remarked that the modern train system was going to change the rail road sector in the Republic of Kenya.  “The plan is ahead of schedule by 4 months and this should see the launch done soon.  This is a positive move for the region”, Hon. Ole Nkanae said.

Hon. Susan Nakawuki on her part remarked that ‘good infrastructure was good’ for the region. She however said the cost of transportation was still high therefore hampering the costs of setting up of automotive industry.  She further lamented that the SGR should duly be a regional project and not purely undertaken on singular or bilateral basis.

Hon. Mumbi Ngaru called for strategic political leadership at the EAC saying it was necessary for the integration process to thrive. 

Hon. Makongoro Nyerere said it was necessary for the transport sector to target both cargo and passengers in order to be sustainable.  He hailed the EAC Heads of State for the initiatives taken to enhance the railway. “I congratulate President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and President John Pombe Magufuli for been steadfast in enhancing the rail network”, Hon. Nyerere said.

Hon. Valerie Nyirahabineza said the sub-optimal infrastructure in the region had led to increased cost of doing business and said the completion of the SGR would boost business. 

Others who supported the debate were Hon. Bernard Mulengani, Hon. Dr James Ndahiro, Hon. Mike Sebalu, Hon. Taslima Twaha and Hon. Dora Byamukama.

The 2nd Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for EAC Affairs, Rt Hon. Dr Kirunda Kivenjija representing the Chair of the Council of Ministers said complementarity was the way to go as opposed to competition among the Partner States to develop the region. 


- ENDS -

For more information, please contact:

Mr Bobi Odiko
Senior Public Relations Officer
East African Legislative Assembly
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255-27-2508240
Fax: +255-27-2503103
Cell: +255-787-870945, +254-733-718036
Email: BOdiko [at] eachq.org
Web: www.eala.org

About the East African Legislative Assembly:

The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is the Legislative Organ of the Community and has a cardinal function to further EAC objectives, through its Legislative, Representative and Oversight mandate. It was established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.


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