KIGALI - Delegates at a two-day high level regional meeting in Kigali last week, called for the inclusion of regional integration programs and activities in governments’ national policies.
This was one of the recommendations announced at the end of the meeting. The meeting that attracted UN agencies, Ministers of Regional Integration, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the civil society intended to review and articulate modalities of fast- tracking the regional integration.
Also discussed was the challenge of food security which came as top priority, climate change and insecurity in some of the member countries.
The meeting also discussed the need to establish a permanent regional development working group to harmonise transport corridors.
“The beneficiaries of the corridors are many, bringing them all together would enhance collective participation in solving the challenges facing the corridors,” Jerome Ntibarekerwa, the Secretary General of the port management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa said.
The participants also suggested building a comprehensive policy to regulate the regional ICT infrastructure.
Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo, underscored the need to recognise ICT as a key instrument in regional integration.
“It is critical that we come up with a regional ICT plan, Rwanda has an ICT roadmap coming up. We need to know how a regional ICT framework will be compatible with ours,” she said.
It was also pointed out that through ICT, transport corridors can be modernised, easily managed and coordinated.
The participants also highlighted the importance of public participation in the regional integration process in all the sub-regions.
It also called for the involvement of other partners, including the private sector and charitable bodies in the process such that they can contribute to the integration financially.