I am pleased to participate in this 4th Summit of the Northern Corridor Projects and would like to thank President Museveni and the people of Uganda for once again hosting this important meeting. We should soon be doing the same with the central corridor.
Let me also express our solidarity with the people and government of South Sudan who are experiencing a difficult period in their country. We will continue to work together to support the return to peace, stability and development in South Sudan.
This 4th meeting is an important illustration of the commitment to the goals set last year here in Entebbe, to work together on initiatives needed to advance development in our region.
The progress made on current joint projects is encouraging. We have to maintain and even speed up the momentum, especially on core infrastructure for transport and electricity in order to complete the agreed projects for the benefit of the people of our countries.
Following the launch of the Single Customs Territory last October, the system is now fully operational with emerging challenges being resolved progressively.
In January this year, the use of Identity Cards as travel documents started. I was very pleased to use my national ID card to come here yesterday. I was granted only a six-month stay.
Next time, I will ask for more. The statistics indicate that these new services are already benefiting our populations. Thousands of our citizens have already travelled throughout the region using their national identities cards, facing less problems than before in their travels.
I am reliably informed that Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda will have a common pavilion at next month’s international tourism fair in Berlin. This is not only good business for our countries but a clear indication of our genuine commitment to the broader integration agenda.
Today we will see the signing of several pacts. All of them are significant milestones in our collective development and in strengthening our cooperation to safeguard regional stability.
We welcome and look forward to continue broadening accession to these pacts and participation in their implementation.
In conclusion, I wish to thank the teams that continue to work diligently to ensure the realisation of our agreed integration projects. The citizens of our countries are the ultimate judges of our work and I am confident that they fully benefit from the fruits of these initiatives.
Thank you for your attention.