Information from the Kisumu talks revealed that Tanzania has expressed its full commitment to the integration process and in particular to establish and implement the EAC Common Market.
Tanzania has expressed commitment towards the East African Community (EAC) Common Market in the ongoing talks in Kenya.
The country, one of the three founders of the regional economic bloc, alongside Kenya and Uganda, has always been reported to be reluctant on a few issues.
On issues concerning land delegates from Tanzania held divergent views and were also doubtful on the issue concerning the proposal to allow citizens of an EAC member state to use national identity cards as travel document within the region.
Information from the Kisumu talks revealed that Tanzania has expressed its full commitment in the integration process and in particular to establish and implement the EAC Common Market.
Rwanda’s Chief Negotiator, Prudence Sebahizi, confirmed Tanzania’s commitment saying, “Tanzania have promised satisfactory report on issues where they had expressed reservations.”
“They said that consultations are ongoing and the report will be presented in the next Multi-sectoral meeting of the Ministerial Council,” he revealed through email.
While addressing the press, Tanzania’s Chief Negotiator, Musa Uledi reportedly reaffirmed his country’s commitment to the spirit of East African integration.
According to reports, Uledi said that Tanzania would never consider pulling out of EAC because of the shared interests; “which are more than the differences people have been focusing on”.
“We have gone so far and erased a lot of suspicions that we had about each other at the beginning.”
However, he reiterated that there were still some areas that have sensitive implications if they were implemented without consultations.
Commenting on the land legislation policies for instance, Uledi stressed that there is need to review the situation and make further consultations but these differences should not act as obstacles to the commencement of the Common Market by 2010.
Tanzania’s commitment comes at a time when High Level Task Force (HLTF) is moving closer to finalising the Common Market Protocol by April. Its implementation is scheduled for 2010.
The talks in Kenya begun Monday with a two-day workshop on institutional reforms are the 7th edition of talks since the inauguration of negotiations last year.
After presentation of member states’ perceptions on the need for potential reforms in existing EAC institutions in Nairobi, the HLTF latter shifted to Kisumu to harmonise intellectual property rights, and trade in service.
Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards (SPS) will also be handled if time allows.