East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, Wednesday, 7th October, 2020: The EU Ambassador to Tanzania and the East African Community, Manfredo Fanti and the Secretary General of the EAC, H.E. Libérat Mfumukeko, today launched a new EUR 16,400,000 (approx. 43.87 billion TZS) joint programme to strengthen regional economic integration, through advancing implementation of the Customs Union and Common Market Protocols.
In particular, the Common Objectives in Regional Economic Integration (CORE) programme will be instrumental in moving towards a fully-fledged Customs Union, by supporting more robust information, communication and technology (ICT) based data exchange protocols for the clearing of goods. Thanks to digital solutions, customs operations will be simpler, quicker, as well as safer during this pandemic situation thereby resulting in a reduction of the costs of cross-border trade.
- Support to East African Market Driven and People Centred Integration East Africa (SEAMPEC) to focus on value addition and trade
- Pandemic preparedness to continue to focus on the prevention of and response to infectious disease outbreaks of public health concern in the region
- Implementation building on and expanding the scope of successful programme outcomes
The East African Community Secretariat and the EAC GIZ programme supporting East African Integration on behalf of the German Government, today signed an implementation agreement worth US$16 million for continuing support for EAC regional integration through their SEAMPEC and Pandemic Preparedness programmes.
The programmes are managed through the EAC-GIZ partnership to continue to grow regional economic and social integration which already has a significant impact in the region.
The SEAMPEC programme, through its multiple cross-cutting initiatives, takes a holistic approach to regional integration that encompasses civil society as well as the public and private sectors. Through targeted work in sectors including agro-processing, pharmaceuticals as well as services sectors such as tourism and ICT, SEAMPEC aims to facilitate the improvement of framework conditions to help create more competitive industries and cross border opportunities.
“GIZ and the Secretariat have been developing and managing key projects working with partners across the EAC region with a focus on making the Common Market, Customs Union and integration a reality.
Through the SEAMPEC programme many businesses and civil society organisations have all benefited from collaborating on the ground and high-level networking and coalition activities. We are proud to continue to implement programmes which are showing real results and bringing tangible benefits to the citizens of the EAC,” said Dr Mike Falke, GIZ Country Director for Tanzania and EAC.
Another US$3 million of the funding are going towards the ‘Support to Pandemic Preparedness in the EAC Region’ project, which started in March 2017 and entered its second phase in September 2019. This project is working closely with the EAC to implement the Regional Contingency Plan under the interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral One Health approach and to establish the discipline of risk and crisis communication in the region.
The project supports the EAC Secretariat in its coordinating and advisory role in the prevention and response to cross-border outbreaks. The project builds on important preparatory work and ensures that when pandemic health threats become a reality, EAC countries are in the best position to respond.
“Diseases such as Ebola and Dengue Fever are claiming lives and destroying livelihoods right now. High population density, increasing cross-border trade, climate change and many other factors increase the risk of spreading these infectious diseases. Being ready to respond and having the tools and expertise to be effective in emergency situations is crucial,” said Irene Lukassowitz, GIZ project manager. Following a successful cross border field simulation exercise between Kenya and Tanzania in June 2019, another field simulation exercise at the border between South Sudan and Uganda in 2020 will prepare the region even better.
“Germany's development cooperation, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union (EU), has to date contributed to the regional integration in East Africa through a variety of programmes and projects aimed at building up regional expertise and value adding to trade, industrial development, innovation and investment. GIZ has been working with the EAC for over 20 years, building capacities and expertise at the EAC Secretariat and for regional stakeholders.
SEAMPEC and the Pandemic Preparedness programme already have many achievements, and by continuing to grow these initiatives and invest in their successes we are confident that real EAC development is happening,” said Dr Kirsten Focken, GIZ Cluster Coordinator.
Dr Kirsten Focken
SEAMPEC Programme Manager
Support to Pandemic Preparedness in the EAC region Project Manager
For an interview with Dr Mike Falke or Dr Kirsten Focken, please contact Mr Leslie Stephen Leslie, +255 687 900 944