The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) is to support the East African Community (EAC)’s developments, primarily in infrastructure among other key projects.
The move is meant to address EAC’s transport challenges and to promote regional investments and trade.
In a statement released by the EAC secretariat, the Secretary General of the EAC, Ambassador Juma Mwapachu, briefed the JBIC delegation on the EAC development strategy (2006-2010), which puts a high priority on infrastructure development.
Rwanda too is optimistic that the movement will lead to a developed infrastructure that will easy trade and promote investments.
Vincent Karega, the state minister for industry and investment promotion, said Rwanda as an EAC member will honour the move since it addresses its ambitions.
The meeting also outlined major investment and trade plans for the development of Lake Victoria that show the investment opportunities within the region.
According to Chad Leechor, an advisor with JBIC, the move is anticipated to increase Japan’s investments in the EAC countries.
He further said the recent expansion of the region following the admission of Rwanda and Burundi holds great prospects for the expansion of Japan’s investments and trade with the region.
Ambassador Mwapachu further said that substantial regional projects and programmes were at various stages of implementation, particularly with roads, railways, energy and telecommunications, among other development projects, which would interest foreign investors.
The secretary general emphasised a new importance on lake transport to encourage investment by the private sector, since marine freight and passenger services are believed to have a high demand.
Ambassador Mwapachu also revealed the investments covering regional ports having improved.
The meeting was held at the EAC Head Quarters in the presence of Kei Saito, JBIC’s Economist in South Asia & Sub-Sahara Africa, Amb Julius Onen, Deputy Secretary General in the projects and programmes of the EAC, and Kenneth Bagamuhunda, the EAC Director of Customs.