The Heads of State under the Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) initiative on Saturday called for faster implementation of EAC projects during a summit in Kampala. Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan, are the four countries that are part of the initiative.
Some progress has been registered on various regional projects including energy, infrastructure, trade, information technology, immigration, tourism as well as defense and security cooperation.
As a result these have positively impacted on the lives of citizens within EAC and boosted tourism through the marketing of the region as one tourism bloc.
However, a more sense of urgency and faster delivery is required to meet the goals of NCIP, which is touted to change the region in terms of its global standarding in trade, and transformation of people’s lives in the member countries.
Like President Kagame urged, there is need to maintain the urgency that informed these initiatives to achieve the targets within the set timelines.
The implementing line ministries in the respective member countries must show renewed commitment to expedite the process to achieve the desired results within the spirit of socio-political and economic integration of member states.
So far there is progress in implementation of some of the key projects and the people of EAC are already enjoying the benefits from the integration.
Citizens of member states are free to move from one country to another using just their national Identity Cards (IDs), and there is increased free movement of goods and labour largely driven by initiatives put in place to boost trade within the EAC region. The removal of non-tarrif barriers has also significantly reduced the time traders spend on transporting goods from the ports to their respective countries, among other benefits.
However, to fully maximize the benefits that will accrue from full integration; the EAC projects should be fast tracked.