EAC Secretariat holds consultative meeting with the Republic of Uganda
East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 28th July, 2021: The EAC Secretary General Hon. (Dr) Peter Mathuki together with Deputy Secretaries General, Director General of Customs and Trade, and other Senior Officials of the EAC Secretariat today held a consultative meeting with Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, Uganda's 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for EAC Affairs on the current status of the EAC integration process.
The consultative meetings between the EAC Secretariat and the Partner States Ministries responsible for EAC Affairs and Trade are part of the innovative approaches by the EAC Secretariat to brief Partner States on a quarterly basis on the status of integration projects and programmes.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Mathuki told the Minister that the objective of the consultative meeting was to report on the achievements and challenges of activities undertaken in various sectors and share available opportunities as well as come up with strategies to strengthen regional integration.
“Hon Minister, we at the Secretariat thought it is important for Partner States to know the status of their Directives and implementation of various projects and programmes on a quarterly basis before our normal policy meetings,” said the Secretary General.
Highlighting some of the achievements during this period of COVID-19, Dr. Mathuki told the Minister that the Secretariat had successfully coordinated regional COVID-19 response through effective partnerships with international and local organizations.
"Some of the interventions made by the Secretariat include the establishment of the Regional Electronic Cargo and Driver Tracking System (RECDTS), which facilitates free movement of people, goods and services in the region, as well as distribution of essential supplies in the region,” said Dr. Mathuki.
He further disclosed to the Minister that the Secretariat managed to conduct a regional rapid assessment of the capacity to respond to COVID -19 and disease outbreaks at 27 cross border points in the region.
On the status of Partner States’ financial contributions to the general budget of EAC, the Secretary General commended the Partner States for complying with the provisions of the EAC Financial Rules and Regulations by supporting the Community’s budget.
He, however, urged Partner States to disburse their statutory contributions in a timely manner to enable the EAC to implement its various activities as per the approved budget and calendar of activities.
“While the mandate of the Community has been expanding, the total budget as well as the amount that every Partner State contributes to EAC has been reducing,” said Dr. Mathuki.
On her part, Rt. Hon. Kadaga commended the initiative of the Secretariat on the quarterly consultative meetings with individual Partner States and said the meetings would help the Partner States to follow closely the implementation of various programmes and projects, and minimize the workload of discussion during Council meetings.
“I praise you Secretariat for this innovative way of keeping the Partner States informed on the implementation of various EAC Projects and Programmes,” said Rt. Hon. Kadaga.
On the regional COVID-19 response, Hon. Kadaga commended the Secretariat on several initiatives on coordination of the regional pandemic response through effective partnerships with international and local organizations but challenged the Secretariat to do more in making sure that Partner States are working jointly to contain the pandemic.
“A regional approach is the only way that can save our people in containing the pandemic because of the opportunity it provides for sharing resources, information, training and testing,” said the Minister.
On statutory contributions by the Partner States to support the approved EAC budget, Hon Kadaga urged the Secretary General to use the shuttle diplomacy to make sure that every Partner States makes its contribution on time.
During the meeting the EAC Director General Customs and Trade, Mr Kenneth Bagamuhunda made a presentation highlighting the achievements and challenges by various directorates and departments in addition to available opportunities.
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About the East African Community Secretariat:
The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of six Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001: 2015 Certified