AfDB pledges support for EAC Agriculture and Industrialization
East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 21st March, 2019: The Director General for Eastern Africa Region at the African Development Bank (AfDB), Mr. Gabriel Negatu has pledged more support to agriculture and industrialization in the East African Community (EAC) bloc.
The Director General made the statement yesterday when he paid a courtesy call on the EAC Secretary General Amb Liberat Mfumukeko at the EAC headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. He noted that investment in agriculture and industrialization is the crucial for the development of the region.
Addressing the media soon after meeting the Secretary General, Mr Negatu said it is a fact that the East African Community (EAC) economies are dominated by agriculture which is the core economic sector employing 75-90% of their respective populations.He said in order to exploit regional and international markets, the opportunity for industrial growth exists in locally producing inputs for use in the agricultural sector.
Agricultural performance is critically important to pro-poor growth since it employs over 75% of Partner States population, where the majority of them live in rural settings. The sector provides a basis for improvement of livelihoods in both rural and urban populations, added Negatu
Speaking on integration process, Mr Negatu said EAC is still the fastest growing region partly due to solving bottleneck of communication by investing heavily in infrastructure.
“I would like to request all Partner States to focus on the challenge of doing business in order to realize value integration process in the region’’
On his part, the EAC Secretary General Amb Liberat Mfumukeko thanked the AfDB through the Director General for the continued support to EAC integration and reiterated the EAC commitment to strengthen this partnership and move it to greater height.
Amb Mfumukeko disclosed to the media that for the last 5 years, the Bank has financed a number of infrastructure projects including feasibility studies and detailed designs for multinational road projects for which implementation is ongoing. These include the Nyakanazi –Kasulu /Rumonge Bujumbura and the Lusahunga –Rusumo / Kayonza, Masaka-Mutukula-Kyaka-Bugen
He added that the Bank also supporting soft infrastructure/policy projects towards achieving the EAC integration agenda. These include the East Africa Trade and Transport Facilitation Project (which closed in August 2018); the EAC-Payments and Settlement System, and the 50 Million African Women Speak Networking Platform Projects, which are ongoing.
Reporting on the $2.5 billion which were considered by the AfDB Bank through the approved Regional Integration Strategy for East Africa (RISP 2018-2022), the Secretary General said funds will go towards enhancing regional transport connectivity, regional energy infrastructure, regional ICT connectivity, and management of trans-boundary water resources.
In addition, the funds will also support projects aimed at accelerating implementation of the EAC single market, trade development including tackling of non-tariff barriers (NTBs), and putting in place policy frameworks for industrialization and promotion of EAC as a single investment destination.
The Secretary General also thanked the AfDB for accepting to support agriculture and industry in the region as well as some Heads of State approved infrastructure and Health projects.
The meeting was also attended by the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Planning and Infrastructure Eng. Steven Mlote and other EAC senior officials.
For more information, please contact:
Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
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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