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EAC Secretary General unveils mobile application to scale-up outreach and sensitisation on EAC integration

The Secretary General of the East African Community, Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera, has unveiled an EAC Mobile Application whose main aim is to disseminate news, information and reports on a timely basis about the current state of affairs and development in the EAC.

Unveiling the mobile application version 3.2 at the 4th EAC Secretary General's Forum in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Amb. Sezibera hailed the EAC Youth Ambassadors Platform, the architect of the application, for the brilliant innovation.

The Secretary General singled out Otim Brian Joseph, Jacob Eyeru, Leku Dennis and Esemu Herbert from the EAC Youth Ambassadors Platform-Uganda Chapter for developing the first-ever EAC mobile application product and making accessible globally.

The Secretary General disclosed that the application, also known as EAC in the Palm, was free, open and easily accessed mobile platform dedicated to easing sharing and disseminating EAC related information as well as tracking reports on development programs in the region. "This will increase information outreach and sensitization on the EAC integration process in real time," said Amb. Sezibera.

At the launch ceremony, Mr. Otim, the Head of the EAC Mobile Application Project at the EAC Youth Ambassadors Platform, outlined some of the benefits of the product, which include; prompt information outreach to all citizens of the Community and the rest of the world through individual smartphones thus advancing the "one to one" sensitization efforts of the Community; rebranding EAC on the social global network where information on EAC activities as updated on the website is made available to the public on a real time basis through the application; enhanced people-centred integration motive through the interactive chat module embedded in the application, and; increasing the involvement of citizens to informative capacity building discussions regardless of nationality, age, ethnicity, tribe and religion.

The Head of the Corporate Communications and Public Affairs at the EAC Headquarters, Mr. Owora Richard Othieno, is excited that the Secretariat has endorsed the application because "the world today has high-tech information dissemination channels to fast-track market and stakeholder interactions. To this end, technological innovations are being adopted at an unprecedented scale and speed, particularly by over-the-top players and this should be no exception for the EAC Secretariat."

Present at the ceremony were; Dr Ramadhan Mwinyi, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, East African, Regional and International Cooperation, Tanzania; Hon. Jesca Eriyo, the Deputy Secretary General (Productive and Social Sectors) at the EAC Secretariat; the German Ambassador to Tanzania and EAC, Amb. Egon Kochanke, and Mr Charles Njoroge, Deputy Secretary General (Political Federation).

4th Annual EAC Secretary General’s Forum for Private Sector, Civil Society and other interest groups held in Dar

The 4th Annual Secretary General's Forum for Private Sector, Civil Society and Other Interest Groups was held from 3rd to 4th March 2016 in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania with participants drawn from the civil society, private sector and members of other interest groups from the Partner States.Addressing the participants during the official closing session on 4th March, 2016, Dr. Ramadhan Mwinyi, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, East African, Regional and International Cooperation, Tanzania noted that the forum was the best practice of how to engage dialoguing parties for the East Africa integration agenda.

"This being the 4th year of consistent dialogue is testament of the commitment of all stakeholders to an all-inclusive sustained engagement in the EAC integration process", said Dr. Mwinyi

The Deputy Permanent Secretary who represented Minister of Foreign Affairs, East Africa, Regional and International Cooperation, Amb. Augustine Philip Mahiga further pledged to the participants that the region will remain very active in responding to the needs of the civil society, private sector and other interest groups.

In his remarks, the EAC Secretary General Amb. Dr Richard Sezibera challenged the citizens to lead the anti-corruption crusade in East Africa by electing ethical leaders. "Democracy should be about citizens determining their stake in how they want to be governed, empowering citizens to became prosperous and improving the dialogue of what model of countries they want to have", said Dr. Sezibera.

Amb. Sezibera emphasized the need for citizens in East Africa to stop rewarding corrupt and unethical leaders by not re-electing them back to office.

The German Ambassador to Tanzania and EAC, Amb. Egon Kochanke, while giving his remarks commended the EAC Secretariat and regional dialogue partners for having institutionalized the annual event saying the forum would yield positive outcomes for the integration process.

Amb. Kochanke further lauded the fact that out of 76 resolutions emanating from the dialogue over the past three years, more than 20 resolutions had been fully implemented, adding that about 40 resolutions were well on track to implementation. "We are impressed by the rich discussions that transpired throughout the forum and the diversity of citizens representations from all spheres of EAC," said the Ambassador

The EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sector Hon. Jesca Eriyo noted the private sector's notable progress towards improving governance through the launch of the Code of Conduct for the Private Sector by the EAC Heads of State at their 17th Ordinary Meeting held on 2nd March in Arusha.

On his part Prof. Adebayo Olukoshi of the Asia Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistance in his keynote address, challenged African leaders to embrace social justice and democracy by establishing strong electoral independent institutions.

Meanwhile, the EAC Secretary General officially launched the new EAC mobile application which seeks to provide real time news updates and improve access to EAC information through mobile phones.

Also present at the Forum was the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Mr. Charles Njoroge.

The 5th Annual Secretary General's forum will be held in September 2016.​

EALA to hold Plenary beginning March 7

The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) shall hold its sitting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, this week. The Fifth Meeting of the Fourth Session of the Third Assembly takes place from Monday, March 7-18th, 2016.

The Assembly is to be presided over by the Speaker, Rt Hon. Daniel F. Kidega. Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania, Rt Hon. Kassim Majaliwa will open the Plenary on behalf of the Chair of the Summit of EAC Heads of State, H.E. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli at a Special Sitting on March 8th, 2016, where he will also deliver the State of EAC Address.

Top on the agenda during the two week period is debate on the EAC Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Bill, 2012, the EAC Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2015, as well as reports emanating from various Committees following deliberations with key stakeholders in the integration process.

The Objective of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Bill, 2012 is to provide a legal framework at regional and national level for timely intervention in disaster situations and to protect the people and the natural environment affected by disaster through comprehensive disaster risk reduction and management.

The debate on the Bill was adjourned during the 4th meeting of the 2nd Session in Kampala, Uganda in January 2014, at the request of the Chairperson of the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers then cited the need to consult the relevant provisions of the Treaty and to allow for pursuit of the ratification of the EAC Protocol on Peace and Security. The said Protocol among other objectives, provides for co-operation in DRR management and crisis response.

Another key Bill is EAC Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2015. The Bill moved by Hon. Dr James Ndahiro seeks to provide a comprehensive legal framework for the protection of the rights of persons with disability in the Community in line with Article 120 (C) of the Treaty for the establishment of the East African Community. The Bill envisages development and adoption of a common approach towards disadvantaged and marginalized groups, including children, the youth, the elderly and persons with disability through rehabilitation and provision of, among others, foster homes, healthcare, education and training.

The Assembly is also expected to debate and pass the EAC Supplementary Appropriation Bill to anchor the EAC Supplementary Budget for FY 2015/2016.

On its part, the State of EAC Address is delivered annually by the Sitting Chair of the EAC and it reflects on matters of policies related to the Community. The State of EAC Address focuses on matters of general policies relating to the progress that the Community is realising while providing impetus for the Community to pick on. Last week, EAC held the 17th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State during which it admitted the Republic of South Sudan to the EAC fold.

EALA Sittings are held under the principle of rotation in line with Article 55 of the EAC Treaty. EALA held its last Sitting in Arusha on January 24th - February 5th, 2016.

Vice President of United Republic of Tanzania opens Nanyuki (IX) Series

The Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Samia Suluhu Hassan this morning officially opened the 9th Inter-Parliamentary Relations Seminar (Nanyuki IX) in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

In her remarks, the Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania reiterated that democracy, rule of law and elections were key components in the regional integration dispensation and necessary for progress and development.

"Democracy, rule of law and human rights are today key precepts that are close to development. Political, social and economic governance of our countries and blocs would be ideally affected and negatively so, if we ignore the adherence to these universally agreed principles", H.E. Samia Suluhu Hassan said.

The Vice President further said that United Republic of Tanzania would soon append its signature to the African Charter on Democracy, elections and Governance.

"It is important that we in the region and continent for that matter, strive to enhance and strengthen good governance through the institutionalization of accountability and participatory democracy. It is on this vein that the Member States negotiated the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance that was adopted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2007", the Vice President said.

"Mr Speaker, I want to assure you that the United Republic of Tanzania will do all that is possible in the not-too-distant future to sign, ratify and deposit the said instrument", she added.

So far, only the Republic of Rwanda has ratified the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and deposited the instrument with the African Union.

The Vice President further re-assured legislators in attendance that United Republic of Tanzania would ensure elections are conclusive in Zanzibar later on in the month.

The Seminar organized by EALA in conjunction with the Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA), is themed: "Compliance with African Union and Sub-Regional Blocs'; Election Benchmarks: A Case of the East African Community". The Seminar brings together an estimated 250 participants drawn from EALA, National Parliaments of the Partner States' and EAC Ambassadors. Also in attendance are representatives of the Civil Society Organizations.

H.E. Samia Suluhu Hassan called on Parliaments to enact laws that promote peaceful political competition and to follow up on the commitments of the National Election Management Bodies with regards to building electoral systems that underpin Africa's democracy.

In his remarks, the Speaker of EALA, Rt Hon. Daniel Fred Kidega reiterated that democratic elections were key for the continent and challenged the region to ratify the Protocol on African Charter on Governance and Democracy.  

The Speaker rallied for a paradigm shift in the way elections are handled.

"There are lessons emerging from the electoral trends in Africa that have degenerated into conflicts as evidenced by the 1995 post-election violence in Zanzibar; the 2007 post-elections violence in Kenya; the 2010 pre and post-elections violence in Burundi and subsequently, the post elections violence in 2015", he remarked.

The Speaker remarked that other case studies on electoral violence were documented in the Republics of Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Guinea Bissau.

"The amount of energy invested in resolving the conflicts particularly in Kenya and Zimbabwe including the evidence of writing of new constitutions is critical in generating some lessons on the theme of institution building", he remarked.

"The Election Management bodies for example, should maintain credible registers and conduct the polls in a transparent manner while upholding the declaration of results", Rt Hon. Kidega said.

The Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers, Hon. Dr Susan Kolimba termed the apt and timely given the fact that the cycle of electns had commenced.

Article 6 provides for the fundamental objectives of the Community which include rule of law and good governance.

The outcome of the seminar she said, would contribute to vast improvements of the electoral processes in the region.

On his part, the Speaker of the Parliament of Tanzania, Rt Hon. Job Ndugai concurred with the view that it was time to review elections systems.

"When elections in East Africa go wrong, the consequences are felt in the neighbouring States including instability of trade, and movement of persons", Rt Hon. Ndugai said.

The representative of AWEPA, Mr. John Corrie remarked that elections in the region had continued to present challenges which need to be overcome. He said it was important for the region to find solutions to the Election related conflicts.

"I congratulate EAC and EALA for their efforts to ensure democratic strengthening of the region for instance in organizing several Electoral Observation Missions over the last decade. This is important because impartial, balanced and informed asssment of elections serves to protect the integrity of electoral processes", Mr. Corrie said.

He reiterated that AWEPA was committed to continue supporting the region at an appropriate time. He lauded EALA for its contribution to regionalism and Parliamentary Democracy through effective legislation, representation and oversight.

"We reiterate our commitment to the strengthening of your institution, to supporting regional Parliaments and more broadly to strengthening of Parliamentary democracy in Africa. Despite the challenges that may lie ahead, we will strive to accomplish our mission in a spirit of partnership, mutual learning, cooperation and friendship", Mr Corrie said.

The Seminar is facilitated by high profile speakers from within and beyond the EAC region who are analyzing and assessing Partner States' compliance with Africa, EAC sub-regional and Partner States' national election benchmarks.

The Seminar is likewise showcasing the relevance of Election Observation Missions in the contribution of strengthening Electoral Management processes in East Africa.

It takes place at a critical point in time when all EAC Partner States have either concluded, or are about to go through the electioneering period. On February 18th, 2016, Republic of Uganda went to elections while the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Burundi held their polls in October 2015 and July 2015 respectively.On their part, Republic of Kenya and Republic of Rwanda are expected to go to elections next year.

The Seminar is revisiting the three key concepts of democracy, elections and the rule of law as well as the relationship among them. It is hoped the Seminar will enhance capacities of Parliamentarians to perform their core function in preventing electoral and related electoral conflicts is enhanced.

In addition, it is anticipated that Members of the National Assemblies will be provided with an opportunity to appreciate the progress made so far in the EAC integration process through the Election Observation Missions and therefore the issues discussed will subsequently find their way into the agenda of National Parliaments.

 

EAC Heads of State launch another Road to connect Central and Northern Corridors

East African Community Heads of State today launched the construction works for the Arusha - Holili/Taveta road which will provide an additional link between the Central and Northern Transport corridors.

The launch of the Tanzanian section of the Arusha - Holili road which will link up with the Taveta - Voi road on the Kenyan side comes in the wake of the 17th Ordinary EAC Heads of State Summit which was held at the Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge in Arusha on Wednesday.

Presidents John Magufuli (Tanzania), Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), and Second Vice Presidents Joseph Butore (Burundi) and James Wani Igga (South Sudan) officially launched the works at Tengeru Township on the Arusha - Moshi road. Rwandan President Paul Kagame was represented at the event by his EAC Affairs Minister, Ms. Valentine Rugwabiza.

The Heads of State reaffirmed their commitment to facilitate intra-regional trade by implementing the Community's ambitious 10-year Infrastructure Development Strategy especially through the construction of a vast and reliable road network in addition to ports, railways and power generation plants.

Speaking at the event, President Magufuli who is also the Chairman of the Heads of State Summit, disclosed that the road would include the expansion of the 14.1 km stretch from Arusha to Tengeru and the 28.3 km Arusha by-pass which combined would cost US$1.3 million.

President Magufuli thanked the Japanese government and the African Development Bank (AfDB) for agreeing to provide financing for the project.

Dr. Magufuli emphasized the need for building high quality roads noting that in Tanzania 67% of cargo was transported by road. He urged the road contractor to ensure the road was built to the required standards and warned that cancelling contracts due to poor performance was not unusual for him as a former roads minister.

He said industrialization was also a priority for the region saying this was the surest way to solve high rates of unemployment and poverty.

"We produce cotton, wool and leather which are used for manufacturing clothes and shoes. I don't see why our people should be wearing second hand clothes and shoes. Why should we export leather as a raw material and then import poor quality shoes which wear out within three to four days?" he asked.

On the EAC One Area Network which is now operational in Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya, Dr Magufuli said it was regrettable that Tanzania was yet to join the network due to rampant corruption at the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA).

He revealed that TCRA had lost TShs 400 billion ($183 million) in irregular deals, adding that those involved had not only been sacked but would also be investigated and prosecuted.

In his remarks, President Kenyatta said East Africans were ahead of their governments in the integration process, adding that the onus was on governments to enable people do business by removing barriers to trade.

"Governments should build roads, pool energy sources to ensure reliable power supply across the region and build industries. We should abandon the artificial borders put in place by the colonial powers which divided communities and now pose barriers to trade and movement of people. Let us eliminate these borders so that our people can move and trade freely," President Kenyatta said.

President Kenyatta said leaders in the region had resolved to work together in order to create wealth, employment and build industries which will promote exports.

"Value addition and manufacturing will increase our share of trade on the world market which is currently low," said the Kenyan leader, and expressed optimism that the liquid petroleum gas from Tanzania would soon be available for sale on the Kenyan market.

Speaking at the function, AfDB's Eastern Africa Regional Representative, Mr. Gabriel Negatu, said the completed road would reduce transport costs between Arusha and Voi to facilitate cross-border trade, enhance tourism, improve accessibility to markets and social services, thereby contributing to poverty reduction.

"Already, trade revenue on both sides of the border has increased significantly," said Mr. Negatu.

Also at the function were the Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers Amb. Dr. Augustine Mahiga, Kenya's EAC Affairs and Labour Minister Phyllis Kandie and Japanese Ambassador to Tanzania and the EAC, H.E. Masaharu Yoshida.

EAC Heads of State to Launch Construction of Arusha-Tengeru Dual Carriageway and Arusha Bypass Road

His Excellency Dr. John Pombe Magufuli, President of The United Republic of Tanzania and his counterpart from the Republic of Kenya, His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta will on Thursday 3rd March, 2016 do the ground-breaking of the construction of the Arusha - Tengeru Dual Carriageway and Arusha Bypass Road at Tengeru, in Arusha Region, Tanzania. The historic event will be witnessed by the other Members of the Summit of Heads of State from the Republics of Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.

The road is part of the Multinational Arusha - Holili/Taveta - Voi Road, which is a successor to the Arusha - Namanga - Athi River road that was completed in 2012. It forms part of the larger East African Road Network consisting of 15,000 km of international highways, and part of the Trans African Highways (TAH) No. 8 from Cape Town to Cairo via Gaborone.

Work on the Kenyan section of the project, from Taveta to Mwatate, commenced in May, 2014 and was launched in September, 2015 by H.E. Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, the then President of The United Republic of Tanzania and H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, at Taveta in Taita Taveta County.

The scope of the construction consists of upgrading from gravel to bitumen surface of 90km of the road, part of which traverses the Tsavo West National Park. The finished road will have a 7-m wide carriageway and 2-m wide shoulders on both sides. There will also be a 9-km long bypass around Taveta Town to reduce congestion and enhance road safety in the town. It is expected that travel time will be reduced from 4 hours to 1.5 hours along this stretch.

The scope on the Tanzanian section, which commenced in June, 2015, includes the upgrading of the current two-way, 13-m wide road to a four-lane, 26-m wide highway from Sakina to Tengeru, a distance of 14 km. Service roads will be provided on both sides to facilitate the movement of local traffic. New bridges will be constructed alongside the existing ones on the new road. It is scheduled for completion in March, 2018.

The Arusha Bypass consists of a 42.4 km long bitumen road that commences at Ngaramtoni, crosses the Dodoma Road at Kisongo and ends at Usa River Township. The road is expected to relieve the busy Moshi - Arusha road and will facilitate the traffic from Mombasa port wishing to join the Central Corridor at Singida. It will also spur growth of the greater Arusha city and thereby help to decongest the Central Business District.

The project on the Kenyan side is estimated to cost US$85 million while the Tanzanian section (dual carriageway and bypass) will cost approximately US$353 million.

EAC launches first One Stop Border Post at Holili/Taveta

The East African Community today officially launched the first One Stop Border Post (OSBP) in Holili/Taveta towns on the Kenya/Tanzania border.

The facility was built at the cost of approximately US$12 million from TradeMark East Africa (TMEA).

The project was launched jointly by Tanzania's Minister for Foreign Affairs, East African, Regional and International Cooperation, Hon. Amb. Dr Augustine Mahiga, and Kenya's Labour and East African Affairs Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Phyllis Kandie.

Dr Mahiga said the One Stop Border Post will ease the movement of people from the two Partner States.

“It’s a demonstration of the trust between the two countries and that the One People, One Destiny dream is slowly being realized through various East Africa Community initiatives,” said Dr Mahiga.

The Minister reaffirmed Tanzania’s commitment to the integration process by assenting to the OSBP Bill and concluding agreements for Management of OSBPs with all Partner States.

Dr Mahiga said the OSBP is set to increase efficiency by reducing time and transport costs incurred by businesses, farmers and transporters while crossing from one Partner State to the other.

The Minister further said that the Arusha-Holili/Taveta-Voi road which was currently under construction would boost cross border trade and foster good neighbourliness between Kenya and Tanzania, adding that the two countries had demonstrated the political goodwill to implement EAC initiatives. 

Dr Mahiga said the next step was capacity building in the management of OSBPs to ensure smooth operation and better service delivery.

In her remarks, Hon. Kandie said that in addition to facilitating farmers and business persons from Northern Tanzania to access the Kenyan market, the Holili/Taveta OSBP will also enhance mutual interactions, create synergy and unity of purpose.

“I am pleased to appraise the substantial progress already recorded in the construction of the Taveta-Mwatate-Voi road section. Already, 75% of the road is complete and opened for use. It is anticipated that by the end of this year, the outstanding works on that section will be complete and the people of Taveta and Northern Tanzania for the first time will travel to and from Mombasa and other parts of Kenya with ease,” said Hon. Kandie, adding that the road would unlock the vast potential of the Taita-Taveta/Kilimanjaro region.

Hon. Kandie noted that Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) remained a big challenge on the economic front and should be addressed by all Partner States as a matter of urgency.

“NTBs constitute prolonged formalities, multiplicity of institutions, limited capacity at entry points, technical requirements and travel restrictions through convoys and time of day among others. These are implemented through protectionist tendencies among trading blocs commonly referred to as 'Behind the border measures'.

 

“The challenge that comes with the elimination of NTBs is their mutative nature. Their impact on intra-EAC trade flows is serious and real. They stifle trade; depress returns on investment, and add extra costs to goods traded across our borders,” said the Cabinet Secretary.

She emphasized Kenya’s commitment to continue working with other Partner States to strengthen regional mechanisms geared towards eliminating NTBs with a view of making the Community more competitive and promoting intra-regional trade.

EAC Secretary General, Amb. Dr Richard Sezibera, disclosed that the Holili/Taveta OSBP is the first among eight on the borders of the EAC Partner States that have been completed and are awaiting to be commissioned.

Dr Sezibera said the EAC realized that the economies of Partner States were interdependent, adding that the best approach was to work together to reduce the costs of doing business.

“This OSBP will boost trade by facilitating faster clearance of cargo, realize significant reduction in transport costs and ensure effective border control mechanisms are put in place,” said the Secretary General.

Mr. Theo Lyimo, the Director OSBPs at TMEA, thanked their financiers especially - DFID, Canada, USAID and the World Bank for supporting the project.

“The One Stop Border Posts at Holili/Taveta are the first to be operationalised among the 15 OSBPs in East Africa and South Sudan through TradeMark East Africa's funding. We have invested about US$117 million in OSBPs and One Access Road, and what is exciting about this is that we expect a return of $30 for every dollar invested,” said Lyimo. 

Also present at the function was the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Planning and Infrastructure, Dr Enos Bukuku and heads of diplomatic missions from the EAC Partner States.

 

One Stop Border Post set for Launch at Holili-Taveta on 27th Feb 2016

The East African Community (EAC) is officially launching the One Stop Border Post (OSBP) at Holili and Taveta border between Kenya and Tanzania tomorrow 27th February 2016, in order to enhance trade facilitation and quicken clearance of people in a conducive and secure environment.

The launch will be conducted by Phyllis J. Kandie, EGH, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Labour and East African Affairs, the Republic of Kenya and Hon. Amb. Dr Augustine Mahiga (MP), Minister for Foreign Affairs, East African Regional and International Cooperation; the United Republic of Tanzania, in the presence of other Ministers/Cabinet Secretaries from the other Partner States. The occasion will also be graced by Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera, the EAC Secretary General and the representatives of the financiers Trademark East Africa (TMEA) and the Business Community, led by the East African Business Council.

The OSBP is a concept that reduces the number of stops incurred in a cross border trade transaction by combining the activities of both countries; border organizations at a single location with simplified exit and entry procedures and joint processing, where possible. Motor vehicles and pedestrians only stop in the country of entry and perform exit and entry border formalities. One-stop is achieved by placing the border officials of two adjoining countries at each other’s adjoining border post so that each border post controls only the traffic entering the country. The exit formalities of the exit country and the entry formalities of the country of entry are carried out at the border post in the country of entry.

At Holili and Taveta OSBP, Kenyan Government officials performing exit functions have been deployed at Holili and are working with the Tanzanian Government officials performing entry functions. For Tanzanian Government officials performing exit functions, they have been deployed at Taveta and are working within the same building with the Kenyans that are performing entry functions. Traffic in either direction is thus bypassing the exit border post and going directly to the border post of entry in the other country. The main feature of the OSBP concept is that traffic crossing the border stops once instead of stopping at the border post of exit for exit formalities and at the border-post of entry for entry formalities. Hence One-Stop Border Post.

In the East African Community all OSBPs will operate using a regional framework and in this regard, the EAC OSBP Act 2013 has been assented to by all Partner States and is being gazetted. The OSBP Regulations have been drafted to operationalize the OSBPs at regional level and await the Council of Ministers’ approval. The OSBP Procedure Manual is being developed to guide and ensure uniform operations of the OSBP.

The Holili and Taveta OSBP has been constructed with the financial support of the Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA). The OSBP is operating in conformity with the regional OSBP requirement as most of the bilateral arrangements are based on the regional legal and administrative instruments.

From commencement of the OSBP at Holili and Taveta, a number benefits to the people and trade have been noticed. Some of the benefits are; quick clearance of pedestrians and passengers as they are now not stopping in the country of exit; saving of time as travelers are only stopping once for border formality; increased turnaround of commercial traffic as compliant traders are now spending little time at the border; reduced time spent at the border for inspection as it is only conducted once; reduced cost of doing business as interventions are reduced from two to one and cooperation among border agencies as they are now sharing information in a more organized and transparent manner entrenching regional integration.

17th EAC Heads of State Summit set for 2nd March, 2016 in Arusha, Tanzania

The 17th Ordinary East African Community (EAC) Heads of State Summit has been rescheduled for 2nd March, 2016 in Arusha, Tanzania.

Top on the agenda of the long-awaited meeting will be the consideration of reports by the EAC Council of Ministers on: the negotiations on the admission of the Republic of South Sudan into the Community; Sustainable Financing Mechanisms for the EAC, and; the EAC Institutional Review.

The meeting will also consider Council reports on: the Model, Structure and Action Plan of the EAC Political Federation; Implementation of the Framework for Harmonized EAC Roaming Charges; Modalities for Promotion of Motor Vehicle Assembly in the region and Reduction of the Importation of Used Motor Vehicles from Outside the Community, and; the Promotion of the Textile and Leather Industries in the region, and stopping importation of Used Clothes, Shoes and Other Leather Products from outside the region.

The Summit is also expected to deliberate on a report by the Council on the verification exercise for the admission of the Republic of Somalia into the EAC.

The Heads of State are expected to launch the new International East African e-Passport (electronic-passport) during the meeting.

Also scheduled to be launched by the Summit is the Private Sector Fund which is expected to deepen the participation of the private sector in the East African integration process.

The Summit will be preceded by a meeting of the EAC Council of Ministers that will take place at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha on 29th February, 2016.

 

Belgium and EU pledge continued support to the EAC

The Secretary General of the East African Community, Amb. Dr Richard Sezibera, received credentials from the Belgian and European Union Ambassadors who have been accredited to the East African Community.

While presenting his credentials to Dr. Sezibera, Belgian Ambassador to Tanzania and the EAC, H.E. Paul Cartier, said his country was keen on strengthening her relations with the Community. Amb. Cartier said Belgium wants to be part of the solution to various challenges facing the EAC.

In his remarks, Amb. Dr Sezibera thanked the Belgian government for her offer of additional support to the EAC, adding that a framework of agreement for cooperation will be developed between Belgium and the Community.

The Secretary General hailed Belgium for her contribution to the Partnership Fund, which has enabled the EAC to undertake programmes and projects in various sectors. The Head of the EU Delegation to Tanzania and to the EAC, H.E. Mr. Roeland van de Geer, also presented his credentials to the Secretary General.

Amb. van de Geer noted that the EU's assistance to the EAC was broad covering almost all sectors of the integration agenda, reaffirming that the EU would continue providing this support. He urged the EAC to identify and prioritize the areas in which it would require increased support from the EU.

Amb. Sezibera and Amb. van de Geer agreed to hold bilateral talks to re-examine the cooperation framework between the EAC and the EU with the goal of making improvements, with technical teams from both sides exploring areas for future cooperation.

Amb. van de Geer conveyed the EU's condolences to the EAC and the family of the late Ms. Isabelle Wafubbwa, the Principal Political Affairs Officer, at the Community who passed on recently. He described Ms. Wafubbwa as having been instrumental in cooperation between the two regional economic communities especially in the field of political integration.


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