President Paul Kagame’s Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region Ambassador Richard Sezibera says East African community (EAC) common market should be supported.
Ambassador Sezibera is also the Chairperson of the Regional Integration Committee.
“Fast-tracking and deepening EAC integration is the only way forward for the East African partner states to avoid their further marginalisation in global economy,” Sezibera said.
He was speaking at the national workshop on the EAC common market yesterday at Kigali Serena Hotel.
The national workshop on the EAC common market is aimed at gathering different stakeholders to discuss issues ahead of the forthcoming negotiations on the East African common market protocol.
Sezibera said that regional integration is prerequisite for EAC to uplift the standards of living in the region. It also enhances private sector companies’ competitiveness and would reverse the EAC’s trend of shrinking share in world trade, he said.
He added that it is necessary to pool the entire region’s resources and enhance its voice in the international arena. “It is therefore also necessary for EAC member states to conclude common market protocol as way forward to further regional integration.”
Some of the resolutions from the workshop will formulate Rwanda’s position in the negotiation process on the EAC common market.
Key issues in the EAC common market include free movement of workers, goods, services and capital between partner states as well as freedom of right of establishment and residence within the member countries.
The workshop also aims at sensitizing Rwandans on opportunities and challenges of integration through the media.
The EAC common market negotiations will start next year and the outcomes are to be implemented in 2009. Member states expect to have a fully fledged EAC common market by 2010.