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Fostering regional trade, resource mobilisation and integrating new Partner States to be at the core of EAC's new year agenda

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 9th January, 2024: The East African Community (EAC) is gearing up for the New Year with a stronger focus on fostering intra-regional trade, resource mobilisation and integrating the newest Partner States. 

EAC Secretary General, Hon. (Dr.) Peter Mathuki, highlighted the need to enhance intra-regional trade by optimising the implementation of the EAC Customs Union and Common Market protocols. Dr. Mathuki further emphasised the need to work together to eliminate Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) hindering intra-regional trade and expressed optimism about increasing intra-regional trade in East Africa to at least 40% over the next five years. 

The Secretary General made the remarks during the EAC New Year Address to staff in the EAC Organs and Institutions from the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

Dr. Mathuki revealed the ongoing efforts to integrate the Federal Republic of Somalia into the EAC, adding that Somalia had signed the Treaty of Accession into the EAC in 2023 and affirmed that the Community is looking forward to Somalia’s full integration after completing its internal processes.

“We look forward to the Federal Republic of Somalia depositing the instruments of ratification into the Community after completing their internal processes,” he said. 

The EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Infrastructure, Productive, Social and Political Sectosr, Hon. Andrea Aguer Ariik Malueth, the Judge President of the East African Court of Justice, Justice Nestor Kayobera and EAC Secretary General Hon. (Dr.) Peter Mathuki at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

Dr. Mathuki reaffirmed the region's commitment to implementing the four-band Common External Tariff (CET) to enhance trade competitiveness and boost the industrial sector. 

“The region adopted a four-band structure of 0%, 10%, 25% and 30%/35%. We endeavour to continue with its implementation to facilitate trade competitiveness and promote the industrial sector in the region,” he added.

On the EAC Political Confederation, Dr. Mathuki said that as per the directive of the 23rd Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State, the EAC will this year work with the United Republic of Tanzania, the Republic of South Sudan, the Republic of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to expedite the consultations. 

“The experts are expected to deliver a report on the proposed model for the EAC Political Confederation and draft the EAC Political Confederation Constitution as a transitional model to the Political Federation,” he said. 

The Secretary General commended EAC Partner States and development partners who actively supported the region’s peace support role in Eastern DRC.  

“The forces made significant achievements and brought out our collective unity of strength in peace missions. As a bloc, regional peace is a priority and will continue scouting for mechanisms to contribute to peace and security initiatives in all Partner States.” 

Staff of EAC Organs and Institutions during the Secretary General’s New Year Address at the EAC headquarters in Arusha.

On the Summit’s directive on the Sustainable Financing Formula for the Community, agreeing on a 65% (Equal Contribution) and 35% (Assessed Contribution), Dr. Mathuki said that the EAC will work with all Partner States to expedite the operationalisation of the financing formula to maximize the Community’s performance.

“We are mulling on convening a Sectoral Council Meeting with Ministers in charge of Finance to discuss on implementing this directive as well as a strategy to rationalise the cost of doing business in the community,” he added.

The Secretary General further disclosed that the Community will prioritise revitalising relations with Development Partners, the Private Sector and the Civil Society, amongst other actors in the integration process. 

The Secretary General also addressed the Summit's adoption of French and Kiswahili as official languages, in addition to English. He confirmed the EAC's commitment to developing language frameworks and policies for the operationalisation of these languages. 

Speaking at the forum, the Judge President of the East African Court of Justice, Justice Nestor Kayobera, welcomed all staff back to work and underscored the need for EAC Organs and Institutions to adhere to the provisions of the Treaty for the establishment of the EAC while executing their respective mandates.  

For more information, please contact:

Simon Peter Owaka
Senior Public Relations OfficerCorporate Communications and Public Affairs DepartmentEAC SecretariatArusha, TanzaniaTel: +255 768 552087Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of seven (7) Partner States, comprising the Republic of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Rwanda, the Republic of South Sudan, the Republic of Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. The Federal Republic of Somalia is in the process of becoming a full member of the Community after its admission into the EAC bloc by the Summit of EAC Heads of State on 24th November, 2023.

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