A comprehensive defence and security pact was this week endorsed by regional ministers who have security in their docket.
It was part of the ongoing process to implement decisions by Heads of States of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda to strengthen security along the Northern Corridor in order to boost trade.
As all who took the floor never ceased to mention, cooperation and pooling resources was an inevitable ingredient if the region was to achieve anything, regional integration therefore will only take off if all hands are on deck.
The three countries have shown a will to move forward in laying the ground as other member states of the East African Community are yet to find a firm footing, but it was an encouraging sign that Burundi and an aspiring EAC candidate, South Sudan, have suddenly taken notice and took part in the meeting as observer.
But for everyone’s sake, they should graduate from the “observer” status and fully embrace the infrastructure projects as their own because they stand to gain. But the sustainability of the benefits will only come if well laid mechanisms are put in place to protect the investments.
This is a critical stage that will test the regional resolve to move away from the Third World malaise of never walking the talk when implementation appeared on the menu. The sky can only be the limit.