The Secretary General of East African Community has said that the forthcoming EAC Common Market will be a milestone that symbolizes strong political will and firm commitment by all the EAC stakeholders in deepening and widening integration.
In a statement released recently, on the occasion of the commencement of the EAC Common Market, Amb. Juma Mwapachu stressed that, achieving successful negotiations and its ratification in record time, is a milestone for the EAC.
“July 1,2010, marks the commencement of the operationalisation of the EAC Common Market; the date is a historic one and is deservedly celebratory,” he said in a statement.
Mwapachu added that following the completion of the ratification of the Protocol on the Common Market, the complex and long march towards transforming the EAC region into a common or single market begins with resolve and fervour.
“What we have achieved so far is only the basic legal framework that outlines what needs to be done and implemented for the Common Market to be meaningful and to have impact in transforming the lives of the East African Community citizens,” he noted.
Mwapachu underscored that, the entry of the Common Market Protocol will provide a stimulus and impetus to an already thriving cross-border services industry.
He called upon the EAC partner States to quickly work out the modalities for enabling free movement of labour to take effect.
The EAC Secretary General hailed Rwanda and Kenya for leading the way in the elimination of work permits, at a bilateral level, between them.
“In the case of Rwanda, the elimination of work permits is extended to all citizens of EAC Partner States, an important element in the process of elimination of work permits, wholly or partially, is the conclusion of the Mutual Recognition of Academic and Professional Qualifications,” he said.
The EAC has a Custom Union in place while a Monetary Union is planned for 2012 and eventually a political federation in 2015.