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EAC-UNESCO Community Media Network Workshop gets underway in Arusha

A three-day East African Community (EAC)-United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) workshop is currently underway in Arusha, Tanzania.

The workshop which is taking place at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania has drawn 35 participants from community radio stations in the five EAC Partner States, namely: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Speaking during the official opening of the workshop, Ms Zulmira Rodrigues, the Head of Office and Representative of UNESCO in the United Republic of Tanzania, pledged that UNESCO would continue to support community media initiatives in the EAC region.

Ms Rodrigues said UNESCO-supported community radios continued to be the main source of information for rural, marginalised and indigenous communities on issues that widely range from economic and socio-cultural policy to addressing emergency situations.

“UNESCO through its support has further significantly contributed to ensuring quality broadcasting, ethical programming and inclusive content to include all groups – men, women, the youth, persons living with disabilities and persons living with albinism – to actively participate in key processes for democracy, peace and development”, said Ms Rodrigues.

The UNESCO Country Representative particularly singled out the work of community media in Tanzania which she said has never been more relevant.

“In a time when information affects almost every human decision and action, through the touch of a button or the swipe of a screen, the turning knob on a radio remains the most effective way to promote development in hard to reach areas seen by the community media network in Tanzania alone reaching an audience of over 16 million – over a third of the country’s entire population. A segment that would otherwise have been left out by conventional, mainstream media”, she said.

Ms Rodrigues advised community media stations that to ensure sustainability, they need to bear in staying in business meant more than just securing the funding to keep their stations and programmes running.

“It includes a holistic approach that will facilitate the effective utilisation of your resources – correspondents, partners, collaborators and management – to achieve a stable base of resources to ensure the community radios’ going concern. These elements must be supported by a clear vision and results orientation; strategic financing; adaptability to changing conditions; a broad base of community support; and, strong internal systems”, she said.

Speaking when he officially opened the workshop, the EAC Deputy Secretary-General in charge of Finance and Administration, Mr Liberat Mfumukeko, said the Community attaches great importance to the role of the media promoting awareness, debate and involvement of the broad range of stakeholders in the EAC integration.

“As the regional integration process intensifies, the EAC is challenged more and more today to achieve and demonstrate greater efficiency and effectiveness as well as more visibility for its activities, achievements and competitiveness in the region and beyond”, said Mr Mfumukeko.

He urged the media to embrace regional integration with passion, dedication and commitment for the benefit of the present and future generations of East Africa, adding that the Secretariat would continue to partner with the media in sensitising stakeholders on the integration process.

“We have directed the Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department to come up with a strategy to involve community radio stations in the Partner States in our outreach and advocacy programmes in the next Financial Year. With this strategy in place, we shall work and engage with you more closely”, said the Deputy Secretary-General.

Facilitating the workshop are community media experts led by the UNESCO Chair on Community, Professor Vinod Pavarala.

African Grain Trade Summit concludes with clear commitments towards Structured Grain Trade in Africa

The 6th African Grain Trade Summit with a clear agenda for regional grain trade in Africa, and with renewed commitments for creating an enabling environment for structured trade concluded in Kigali, Rwanda.

The outcomes of the three-day summit reaffirms the regional grain sector actors’ commitment to structured grain trade in Africa and sets out a clear agenda on different priority areas to be achieved within the next two years, when the next summit will be held.

In a major push to create an enabling environment for the grain sector in Africa, H.E. Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda, pledged to continue to support the operationalisation of the single customs territory through the Northern and Central Corridor Initiatives. The President’s remarks were delivered on his behalf by the Right Honourable Prime Minister, Anastase Murekezi.

Over 200 delegates from 14 countries including Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, The Netherlands, Singapore, USA and Philippines attended the summit.

The delegates, who represented the Government officials, private sector, traders, farmers, processors, financial institutions, civil society and development partners all committed to work together through Private-Public Partnership models to reduce the billions of dollars that get out of Africa through food imports.

In his remarks, the Hon. Kanimba, Minister of Trade and Industry, appreciated the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) for organising such a high-level summit, noting that, “the 6th African Grain Trade summit that we are hosting here in Kigali provides an opportunity to review our commitment to address the structural constraints of the grain trade on the African continent”.

He urged the delegates to create synergies and work together to create effective partnerships between the public and private sector to modernise the grain trading commodity value chain and to boost the intra-African grain trade.

Dr Bernard Otim, the chairperson of the EAGC, recognised the various challenges and bottleneck in the regional trade within the EAC but was confident that through this summit priorities would be identified and solutions provided for an efficient grain sector.

The summit ended with recommendations from the delegates who fronted for a private sector-led Action Group that would champion the identification of key issues and to drive policy engagement with governments to ensure the grain sector thrives. Regional harmonisation of trade policies among countries and among regional economic blocs was supported unanimously by the delegates.

The Eastern Africa Grain Council was tasked to drive the regional trade harmonisation agenda, including policies on Warehouse Receipting Systems, Post-harvest Management, storage systems and technologies that support regional trade.

The summit also brought together, for the very first time, the EAGC, the Southern Africa Grain Network and the West Africa Grain Network, where it was agreed on the need of collaboration on Marketing Information and Capacity Building. The delegates further agreed to the formation of the African Grain Council.

In addition, business to business linkages were made between the private sector, including traders, farmers and processors from the EAC, where trade contracts were sealed worth 10,290 Metric Tonnes of beans, 10,000 Metric Tonnes of maize, 10,000 Metric tonnes of rice and 47,000 Zero Fly bags. This is part of the trade facilitation initiatives EAGC provides to its members through regional networking.

“This summit has been successful given that all the objectives of the summit have been achieved”, noted Mr. Gerald Masila, the Executive Director, EAGC. He added that “clear commitments to create an enabling environments were agreed upon, trade contracts were signed worth millions of dollars, knowledge and lessons were shared among participants, and collaboration throughout the continent was achieved through the discussions with the East, West and Southern Africa region”.

The African Grain Trade Summit is a biennial, high-level, multi-stakeholder event organised by the Eastern Africa Grain Council with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development, through its project the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub, Food Trade Eastern and Southern Africa Organization, Government of Sweden through Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation.

Dissemination Workshop on EAC Health Projects and Programmes for Health Sector Stakeholders in Kenya concludes in Nairobi

A five-day dissemination workshop on EAC regional Health Projects and Programmes for health sector stakeholders, line Ministries, Departments, Agencies and County Health Officers concluded on 2nd October 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The workshop was organised by the East African Community Secretariat in collaboration with Kenya’s State Department of East African Affairs and the Ministry of Health.

The overall objective of the workshop was to bring on board different stakeholders and policy makers at different levels with the aim of raising the participants’ awareness and uptake of EAC Health Projects and Programmes.

Addressing the participants, the Principal Secretary, State Department of East African Affairs, Mr John O. Konchellah, revealed that Kenya continues to register enormous benefits in the EAC integration process as witnessed by the high number of foreign direct investments and increased revenue from the intra-regional trade, greater trade in the services sector such as in retail, where Nakumatt and Uchumi supermarkets enjoy a regional presence.

He said the country had made a mark in the financial services where KCB and Equity Banks had penetrated the regional market, in the education sector where Kenya’s institutions of Higher Learning such as Kenyatta and Kenya Methodist Universities had opened branches in the region, as well as in the transport, telecommunications and professional services, among others.

The Principal Secretary, who was representing his Cabinet Secretary at the official opening of the dissemination workshop, said at the cross-border levels, the harmonised internal tariffs and simplified identification procedures had resulted in an increase in informal cross-border trade, which give the much needed income at the grassroots especially for women.

He noted that there was an opportunity for the Private Sector and County Governments to engage in Public-Private Partnerships to grow the health sector and thus, the need to enhance coherence in National and sub-National Policies across the health sector.

Speaking at the same occasion, Kenya’s Principal Secretary for Health, Dr Khadijah Kassachoon reiterated that diseases had the capability to transcend beyond the scope of any one community, one county or one country and therefore, the need to develop a common approach to mitigate common health risks to the region.

The Health Principal Secretary disclosed that Health Professionals Boards and Councils from all the EAC Partner States were working on harmonising training curriculum, admission criteria and schemes of service for the different health professions, which will enable highly skilled population to cross the borders seeking employment and remitting funds back home.

At the same occasion, Hon. James Mwangi Gakuya, MP, and Member of the National Assembly Committee on Health said the establishment of the EAC Treaty was through a resolution of the National Assemblies, which was a clear demonstration of the commitment of the legislature to ensure its implementation is undertaken to the letter.

He said the East African people viewed the signing of the Treaty as a new beginning, a reformed agenda and a new region for one people with one destiny. “At the time of its signing, the Treaty was a beacon of hope for the people and a liberator of sorts”, noted Hon. Gakuya and pledged support in whatever manner in ensuring that it is achieved and that the recommendations that are likely to follow, be it policy, legislative or administrative are to the best interest of the East African people.

The Deputy Secretary-General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Hon. Jesca Eriyo, who represented the EAC Secretary-General, disclosed that the global Total Health Expenditure (THE) per capita in 2013 was $1,038 compared to $8,400 in the United States of America, $21 in Burundi, $45 in Kenya, $71 in Rwanda, $49 in the United Republic of Tanzania (URT) and $59 in Uganda.

She said THE per capita increased significantly in the region between 2000 and 2013: from $7 to 21 in Burundi; $19 to $45 in Kenya; $9 to $71 in Rwanda; $10 to $49 in URT and $19 to $59 in Uganda. During the same period, GDP per capita rose from $129 to $259 in Burundi; $409 to $1,257 in Kenya; $216 to $679 in Rwanda; $308 to $998 in URT and $261 to $675 in Uganda.

At the turn of 2010, low and middle income countries were recommended to increase their THE per capita from US$35 as recommended by the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health in 2001 to $60 by 2015 to ensure delivery of a limited set of key health services, mainly using domestic resources in the face of dwindling international financing for health.

The EAC official reiterated that as the economy of the Partner States grow, it was imperative that they progressively increase financing in response to increasing needs of the rapidly growing population, changing trends in public health and the need to attain universal health coverage.

“As we transit from the Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals, resource tracking is going to be as important as tracking of results and indeed, these must be tightly linked throughout the health value chain”, observed Hon. Eriyo.


EAC Day held at the Nairobi International Trade Fair

Meanwhile, the 4th EAC Day was successfully held on 2nd October at the Nairobi International Trade Fair at the Jamhuri Park in Nairobi, Kenya. The day is jointly organised by the East African Business Council (EABC) and the Agricultural Society of Kenya to showcase businesses that are at the forefront of taking advantage of the benefits of the EAC integration process, and consciously and consistently pursue the East African objectives.

The day, which coincided with the official opening of the Trade Fair by the President of the Republic of Kenya, saw H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta visiting the EAC-EABC stand and interacting with officials from the two organisations on the status of removal of Non-Tariff Barriers in the region.

The Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), Rt Hon. Daniel F. Kidega; the EAC Deputy Secretary-General in charge of Finance and Administration, Mr Liberat Mfumukeko; and, Hon. Peter Mathuki, a Member of EALA, were some of the officials present at the 4th EAC Day.

The Nairobi International Trade Fair ends on 4th October 2015. The EAC Secretariat used this occasion to showcase achievements of the regional integration process to the enthusiastic thousands of students and other show-goers.

EALA sitting to be held in Nairobi next week

The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) resumes its sitting in Nairobi, Kenya next week. The Plenary which takes place from Monday, 5 October 2015 to Thursday, 15 October 2015 is the Second Meeting of the Fourth Session of the Third Assembly.

The Assembly is to be presided over by the Speaker, Rt Hon. Daniel F. Kidega. Top on the agenda during the two week period is a Special Sitting that is expected to be addressed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The Assembly is also expected to debate on and pass key pieces of legislation, adopt reports and pose questions to the Council of Ministers. Three key Bills on the cards at the EALA meeting are the EAC Forestry and Management Protection Bill, 2015, the EAC Electronic Transactions Bill, 2014 and the EAC Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Bill, 2015.

The EAC Forestry and Management Protection Bill, 2015 hopes to promote the development, protection, conservation, sustainable management and use of the forests in the Community, especially trans-boundary forests ecosystems in the interest of present and future generations. It further wants to espouse the scientific, cultural and socio-economic values of forests and harmonise national forest laws.

The Objective of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Bill, 2015 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.

EALA is further set to revisit debate on the EAC Electronic Transactions Bill, 2014 which was deferred at the last Sitting in Kampala, Uganda to pave way for additional stakeholders to make their input. The Bill seeks to meet the need of exploiting electronic transactions in the modern day business transactions.

The Bill further wants to promote technology neutrality in applying legislation to electronic communications and transactions and to develop a safe, secure and effective environment for the consumer, business and the Governments of the Partner States to conduct and use electronic transactions.

While in Nairobi, the House is also expected to receive and to debate on a number of reports. They include that of the Committee on Regional Affairs on the goodwill mission to Kigoma, Tanzania and Eastern Province of Rwanda to interact with refugees from Burundi.

The Committee on Communications, Trade and Investments, on its part, will table for debate its Report on the oversight of EAC One-Stop Border Posts.

At its last Sitting in Uganda in August this year, the Assembly passed the EAC Culture and Creative Industries Bill, 2015, adopted three Resolutions as well as six Reports.

Germany commits 37 million euros to support Regional Integration in East Africa

The Federal Republic of Germany and the East African Community (EAC) have successfully concluded bilateral negotiations on development co-operation at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The Federal Republic of Germany committed a total of 37 million euros in grants to the EAC for 2016-2018, highlighting the strong commitment to support the integration process in East Africa.

  • 10 million euros in financial assistance will be invested in the establishment of a regional network of reference laboratories for communicable diseases. With this project, the German Government responds to a request for support from the EAC for the prevention and control of epidemic outbreaks in the region.
  • Another 10 million euros in financial assistance will be used for Integrated Water Resource Management of Lake Victoria aiming at improving water provision and management of water resources.
  • 17 million euros in technical assistance were committed to further support of the economic integration process, including a contribution to the EAC partnership fund. The programme is focussing on institutional strengthening of the EAC Secretariat and on supporting the implementation of the Customs Union, Common Market Protocols and Monetary Union. This includes the elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers such as tax harmonisation as well as Mutual Recognition Agreements for qualifications. At the same time, Germany will support the EAC in promoting private investment especially in the pharmaceutical sector, including the establishment of a regional quality infrastructure for the pharmaceutical sector.

Speaking during the negotiations, the EAC Deputy Secretary-General in charge of Finance and Administration, Mr Liberat Mfumukeko, thanked the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany for its support to the EAC spanning the years since the re-establishment of the co-operation between the three founding EAC Partner States to the present, when the Community has expanded to include the republics of Rwanda and Burundi.

“We have truly benefited from the German support, which has catalysed other development partners to support our projects and programmes. In addition, Germany has given the EAC a permanent home by financing the construction of the new Headquarters that today houses the Secretariat, the Court and the Assembly under one roof, thus greatly easing the EAC Organs interactions and communication”, said Mr Mfumukeko.

He highlighted the successes achieved through German support in the realisation of the fully-fledged Customs Union, the Common Market, and the commitments to support the realisation of the Monetary Union in the succeeding programme.

The EAC Deputy Secretary-General noted that the development of the East African Monitoring System within the current support had resulted in a robust means of follow up of the implementation of Council and Summit directives. He further enumerated the priorities of the EAC-German co-operation for the next years.

Mr Georg Rademacher, Head of the German delegation, said: “Our support underlines the importance we give to the East African Community. The EAC is a role model and pace-setter in Africa and we are proud of working closely with you in order to contribute to the well-being and prosperity of the citizens of this region”.

He underlined that Germany is also supporting substantial regional infrastructure projects with promotional loans of the German development bank, KfW.

Only last week, Ambassador Kochanke and Secretary-General Sezibera signed a financial agreement to commit 30 million euros for live-saving vaccines in the EAC and the establishment of the EAC Regional Centre of Excellence for Health Supply Chain Management in Kigali.

With a view to strengthen the pandemic preparedness in the EAC, Germany had announced its willingness to provide an additional 3 million euros in technical assistance for the region’s crisis response capacity (out of special funds for 2016).

Since co-operation began in 1998, the total volume of German support to the EAC amounts to almost 213 million euro. Germany also has substantial bilateral co-operation with all five EAC Partner States.

EALA roots for concerted efforts in combating Corruption

EALA Speaker, Rt Hon. Daniel Fred Kidega wants Anti-Corruption Authorities in the EAC region to further concert efforts, establish linkages and support enactment of a regional law in their quest to rid the region of corruption.

Consequently, the regional Assembly is set to collaborate with the anti-graft authorities under the aegis of the East African Association of the Anti-Corruption Authorities (EAAACA).

The EALA Speaker this morning presided over the opening ceremony of the 9th EAAACA Annual General Meeting themed Strengthening Efforts to eradicate Corruption in Entebbe, Uganda.

Rt Hon. Kidega said that EALA and the EAC were committed to combating the chronic cancer of corruption. He said the Assembly would soon table and discuss key pieces of legislation to combat the scourge.

“On our part as an Assembly, you will be pleased to note that we are considering enacting 3 key Bills to confront corruption head-on. The envisaged Bills are the EAC Integrity and Anti-Corruption Bill, 2015, the EAC Procurement Bill, 2015 and the EAC Whistle Blowers Bill, 2015. The Laws passed by EALA supersede those of the Partner States on matters within the purview of the Community”, the Hon Speaker remarked.

He termed regional co-operation as a key component in containing corruption saying that it undermined good governance, erodes the rule of law and hampers economic growth. “If left unattended, it could spiral to uncontrollable levels given the other criminal activities such as money laundering, bribery and abuse of Office”, Rt Hon. Kidega remarked.

The Speaker was emphatic that it was necessary for the Association to have a closer working relationship within the EAC. “As a key institution in the eradication of corruption, it is vital and necessary for EAAACA to explore means and ways of working with EAC including been considered for Observer Status at the Community”, he remarked.

According to the Speaker, the Mbeki-led Report on the High-Level Panel on illicit Financial Flows released in February this year is telling. The Report narrates that illicit flows relate principally to commercial transactions, tax evasion, criminal activities such as money laundering, bribery, corruption and abuse of office, which he said promote corrupt tendencies.

Moreover, it is reported that countries that are rich in natural resources and countries with inadequate or non-existent institutional architecture are most at risk of falling victim to illicit financial flows.

In attendance at the two-day AGM are representatives of Anti-Corruption Authorities from Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

The meeting is being hosted by the Inspectorate of Government led by the Inspector-General of Government of the Republic of Uganda Hon. Lady Justice Irene Mulyagonja Kakooza. Lady Justice Kakooza maintained that ridding corruption needed political, legislative and the goodwill of all citizens.

The Minister for EAC Affairs, Hon. Shem Bageine said corruption had spread its tentacles in various sectors in the region and largely manifested itself across the divide. “Governments, Private and Public sectors must get to the bottom of and root out this evil”, Minister Bageine added.

On his part, the President of the EAAACA, Mr Clément Musangwabatware reiterated the need to embrace good governance and total fight on corruption which he termed costly to governments and businesses.

Analysts contend that promoting and facilitating co-operation among EAC Partner States is crucial in ensuring effectiveness of measures and actions to detect, investigate, punish and eradicate corruption.

The Association is further expected to review its activities over the year as it strategises over how to make it more effective.

The AGM is the supreme governing body of the Association and comprises of Members of Anti-Corruption Authorities of EAAACA and Honorary Members.

6th African Grain Trade Summit set for Kigali, Rwanda

H.E. President Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, is expected to grace the official opening of the 6th African Grain Trade Summit (AGTS).

The biennial, high-level, multi-stakeholder event is organised by the Eastern African Grain Council (EAGC) and hosted by the 10 EAGC-mandate countries, including all EAC Partner States on a rotational basis. This year, the 6th AGTS will take place in Kigali, Rwanda from 1st to 3rd October 2015.

President Kagame, EAC Secretary-General Amb. Dr Richard Sezibera, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism Hon. Phyllis Kandie and Ms Joyce Mapunjo, the Permanent Secretary in Tanzania’s Ministry of East African Co-operation will also constitute the panel for the Regional Media Dialogue on the first day of the event.

Although the EAC has made significant progress in implementing the Customs Union, there remain critical policy, regulatory and procedural barriers to the enabling environment for trade in staple foods. Because of this, many East Africans face food deficits as grain traders find it difficult to trade across the region. This Regional Media Dialogue among other dialogues will pick up from the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub’s recent analysis of barriers affecting staple food trade.

It will also delve into the key issues that have constrained trade in staple foods in EAC and propose solutions for their removal, including identifying priorities and quick wins, and identifying key champions to engage in their removal.

The 6th Grain Trade Summit, themed “Towards Creating an Enabling Environment for Grain Trade in Africa: Technology, Investment, Information, Policy and Services (T.I.I.P.S)”, will bring together high-level stakeholders in the regional grain sector to discuss and agree on mechanisms that will bring about the prevalence of a business environment that enables effective and efficient public sector participation in regional grain trade, with the ultimate goal of improved livelihoods, more inclusive economic growth and socio-economic development.

The Summit is a continentally-recognised grain industry conference that attracts stakeholders along the grain value chain from around the African continent and beyond, which arouses discussions about key grain industry issues and developing trends in grain trade within the continent.

In addition to the opportunity to listen to and interact with grain industry experts addressing a wide range of issues and trends affecting grain trade, delegates will also benefit from enhanced networking opportunities for concluding concrete business with a vast array of influential players in the industry, at the event.

EAC Secretariat organises Dissemination Workshop on EAC Health Projects and Programmes for Health Sector Stakeholders in Kenya

The East African Community Secretariat in collaboration with Kenya’s State Department of East African Affairs and the Ministry of Health is organising a five-day dissemination workshop on EAC regional Health Projects and Programmes for health sector stakeholders, line ministries, departments, agencies, and County Health Officers taking place from 28th September to 2nd October 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The overall objective of the workshop is to bring on board different stakeholders and policy makers at different levels with the aim of raising the participants’ awareness and uptake of EAC Health Projects and Programmes.

It is expected that the workshop will lead to better understanding and improved knowledge about the EAC health sector, its vision, projects and programmes among the policy makers and the general public in Kenya.

It is also anticipated that the forum will result in improved support, buy-in, ownership and implementation of EAC Health Projects and Programmes; enhanced coherence in policy development and implementation of health programmes within government in view of ongoing initiatives at the EAC level; and, enhanced information sharing between the National and County Governments.

The EAC Secretariat has developed a Regional Health Sector Strategic Plan 2015-2020, which has a number of projects and programmes aimed at the realisation of better health in the region.

These include the Open Health Initiative; East African Medicines Regulatory Harmonisation Programme; Population Health and Environment Programme; and, the EAC HIV and AIDS, TB and STI Programme whose Strategic Plan and Implementation Framework (2015–2020) was approved by the EAC’s policy-making organ, the Council of Ministers.

Despite the fact that all these initiatives are ongoing at the regional level, policy makers, the general public and other relevant stakeholders are not well informed of them.

This knowledge gap extends to health stakeholders and practitioners, manufacturers and distributors of pharmaceutical products, line ministries and institutions and more recently, county government officials. Health is a devolved function under the new Constitution of Kenya which came into effect in 2010.

The lack of adequate information on EAC Health Projects and Programmes makes it hard for implementation of various decisions and directives by the EAC Health Ministers at the national level.

This further impacts negatively on the ability by various stakeholders and pharmaceutical manufacturers to take advantage of emerging markets within the EAC region.

Though health is a devolved function, decisions at the regional level have direct impact on the delivery of health care services; hence, the need for policy makers at both levels of government to be conversant with the various directives / decisions and resolutions.

There is also a need to increase the uptake of the EAC programmes and projects by the general public for full realisation of the envisioned benefits.

It is therefore critical that the health stakeholders and practitioners, manufacturers and distributors of pharmaceutical products, line ministries departments and agencies as well as health officials in the county governments are sensitised on the ongoing projects and programmes.

The dissemination workshop will be conducted at two levels. The high-level government policy makers will briefed on spot visits in their boardrooms on specific EAC Health Programmes and Projects. It is expected that each of these sessions will have targeted messages and will last for not more than one hour.

The proposed Ministries to be visited include: Ministry of Health, National Treasury, Ministry of Devolution and Planning, Ministry of Industrialisation and Enterprise Development, County Government of Nairobi City, and the State Department of East African Affairs. This will then be followed by a two-day workshop for targeted middle-level policy makers and implementers scheduled for 1st and 2nd October 2015 at the Grand Laico Regency Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya.

Japan International Cooperation Agency delegation visits EAC headquarters

A Japanese delegation led by Hajime Iwama, Director, Africa Division 2 in charge of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Tanzania program, Africa Department; Kenji Isomoto, JICA Technical Advisor; and, Kimanari Takahashi, Team Leader of JICA Study among others paid a working visit to the EAC Headquarters on Friday, 25 September to discuss funding for the completion of the dualling of the road from Tengeru to Usa in Arusha, rehabilitation of the Usa-Holili section including complete re-location of the dangerous Kikafu Bridge and the feasibility study.

The EAC Deputy Secretary-General in charge of Planning and Infrastructure, Dr Enos Bukuku welcomed the delegation to the EAC and noted that their visit was adding to the recent three visits made by the new JICA Chief Representative in Tanzania, the Ambassador Extraordinary, and Plenipotentiary and the Deputy Ambassador of Japan to Tanzania, all aimed at cementing the cordial relationships not only between Japan and Tanzania but also between Japan and the East African Community.

“It is in recognition of the need for facilitating integrated, efficient and cost-effective transport systems along the EAC Corridors that the Government of Japan, through JICA, accepted the request made by the East African Community in May 2014 to support the rehabilitation of the Tengeru-Holili road section”, affirmed Dr Bukuku, adding that “the current constructions cover only 14.1km out of the envisaged 22.3km to Usa. This means that there is a gap of around 8.2km to be upgraded to dual carriageway”.

The Tengeru-Holili road section has no Project Affected Persons and, therefore, no resettlement issues. “However, it has a very special safety consideration in particular at Kikafu Bridge”.

Dr Bukuku highlighted and urged that the JICA Study Team critically reviews the provisions of the current design and addresses all constraints that could become impediments to smooth flow of local and transit traffic along the road.

Although the project section is wholly located in Tanzania, it has corridor-wide / regional impacts on traffic flows as it links the Northern Corridor, the Trans African Highway No. 8 (Great North Road) and ultimately, the Central Corridor. It will also be a link to Rwanda and Burundi from the Port of Mombasa.

The project road has been designed to conform to the EAC agreed standards, which are hybrids of existing standards among EAC Partner States. The EAC standards have been adopted through harmonisation framework contained in the East African Transport Facilitation Strategy.

The Deputy Secretary-General thanked the Japanese Government for the interest shown in this project and requested that JICA considers providing a grant component to the funding support, especially for the Kikafu Bridge.

“The grant assistance we seek for the Kikafu Bridge and associated approach roads will enhance the symbolism of the Japanese emotional connection to the site, which has been an annual pilgrimage area for Japanese visitors to Tanzania”.

The JICA Director for Tanzania, Mr Hajime Iwama, expressed his gratitude for the generous hospitality the delegation received from EAC and restated that the main purpose of their visit was to ensure smooth running and kickoff of the rehabilitation operations and feasibility study respectively.

Germany contributes US$ 34 million for Health in the EAC

The Federal Republic of Germany today signed an intergovernmental agreement with the East African Community (EAC) to support regional health programmes. In total, 30 million euros (US$ 34 million) will be invested in vaccines and health supply chain management.

German development co-operation will provide 20 million euros for the procurement of vaccines against different diseases for children in the EAC. The programme will be implemented in collaboration with GAVI.

This new commitment will bring Germany’s contribution to regional immunisation programmes with the EAC to 60 million euros since 2012. Earlier in 2015, Germany hosted the record replenishment of the global vaccination alliance, GAVI. As a result, an additional 300 million children will receive live-saving vaccines, including in the EAC.

Inappropriate cooling systems result in high volumes of vaccines being wasted before they reach the people that need them. This is why Germany also makes available a grant of 10 million euros to support the establishment of the EAC Regional Centre of Excellence for Health Supply Chain Management.

The Centre which will be hosted in Kigali will strengthen capacities and support the management of complex supply systems for health products, such as vaccines that need to be kept cool at all times.

Amb. Dr Richard Sezibera, Secretary-General of the EAC, and Member of the GAVI Board said: “We are very happy with new and existing projects that are being financed by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany. This assistance for the health sector in the EAC reaffirms Germany’s status as a true friend of the people of East Africa”.

H.E. Egon Kochanke, Ambassador at the German Embassy in Tanzania, said: “The new commitments underline that Germany continues to be a strong partner for the EAC, contributing to an integration process that puts the people in the centre”.

GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private global health partnership committed to increasing access to immunisation in poor countries. GAVI brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, The World Bank, the vaccine industry in both industrialised and developing countries, research and technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private philanthropists.

Since as early as 1998, Germany’s development co-operation, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), contributes to the capacity development of the EAC Secretariat and the regional integration in East Africa through a variety of programmes and projects. Germany’s funding for Technical and Financial Co-operation with the EAC amounts to a total of 176 million Euros. Germany also provides substantial support for the health sectors in EAC Parter States.

Accompanying Amb. Kochanke were Ms Lena Thiede, Counsellor / Head of Regional Cooperation at the German Embassy in Dar es Salaam; Katrin Brandes of KFW; and, Bernd Multhaup, Programme Manager, GIZ.

Others at the function were EAC Deputy Secretary-General (Planning and Infrastructure), Dr Enos Bukuku; Lake Victoria Basin Commission Deputy Executive Secretary, Patrice Niyongabo; Counsel to the Community, Dr Anthony Kafumbe; and, the GAVI Special Adviser to the EAC Secretary-General, Mr Stephen Karengera.

East African Community
EAC Close
Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac@eachq.org