The East African Community (EAC) Council of Ministers has outlined key priority interventions to be implemented over the 2014/15 financial year.
During a meeting in Arusha, Tanzania, the Council said the bloc will pursue operationalisation of the Single Customs Territory; implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol; and the implementation of the roadmap towards the establishment of the EAC Monetary Union.
“As the EAC moves to the next critical levels of integration, Partner States will, more than ever before, be called upon to commit the requisite resources and political will for the attainment of the Common Market, the Monetary Union, and the ultimate stage of a Political Federation,” Shem Bageine, Chairperson of the Council and Uganda’s Minister of State for EAC Affairs said.
The other priorities are: development of cross-border infrastructure with particular focus on implementing the decisions of the Summit Retreat on Infrastructure (held in November 2012); implementation of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (COMESA- EAC--SADC); and implementation of the EAC Industrialisation Policy and Strategy.
The priorities were highlighted on Saturday at the conclusion of the 27th ordinary meeting of East African Community (EAC) Council of Ministers.
In a statement received yesterday, the Council adopted several policies and directives geared at enhancing and strengthening regional integration and development process.
Bageine reiterated the collective need to focus on the greater interests of the EAC.
The Council also directed Partner States to finalise their national consultations on the way forward on the EAC Political Federation and submit their reports to the Secretary General by October 31.
Expulsion of ‘Illegal immigrants’ from Tanzania
The Council meanwhile directed Tanzania and Rwanda to urgently meet to resolve the issue of Rwandans who were recently evicted from Tanzania some of whom lost their properties during the course of expulsion.
Statistics from the ministry in charge of refugees show more than 6000 Rwandans who were living in Kagera region in the northwest of Tanzania, have already crossed into Rwanda following the expiry of a two-week July 29 ultimatum issued by the Tanzania president Jakaya Kikwete.