KAMPALA - The East African Community (EAC) member states plan to modernise the region’s railway system in an effort to ease the movement of goods and people from one country to another, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has said.
Rwanda and Burundi who signed the accession treaty last June are members of the now five-nation EAC bloc.
Museveni who is also the Chairman of EAC said on Saturday that Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania are to work together to ensure that this dream (of modernising railway) is realised. “We want people to move to Dar and Mombasa cheaply and very fast,” Museveni said.
He was officiating during the 22nd victory anniversary celebrations for his ruling NRM party at Kololo Airstrip in Kampala. Rwanda’s imports and exports as well as the country’s business community heavily use both port cities of Dar and Mombasa in Tanzania and Kenya respectively.
Museveni said that once the region’s railway network is modernised, the cost of doing business among the EAC countries would go low.
About the ongoing post-election violence in Kenya, Museveni urged people in the region to pray for Kenyans to solve the problems amicably. He said that during his meeting with President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, both showed signs of willingness to resolve the impasse.
The violence in Kenya has already affected most of EAC’s land landlocked member countries, with delays in fuel supplies as well as other imports and exports.
“In Uganda, Rwanda Burundi, DRC and Sudan, we all have already tested this.
We all got problems because of the Kenyan problem. Kenya; like any other African country is cooperating with many partners,” Museveni remarked In a related development, the Kenyan government has assured EAC members states of the safety of their goods that leave or pass through to respective countries in the region.
According to the Uganda Government Spokesperson Fred Opolot, President Kibaki assured Museveni that measures were being taken to ensure smooth flow of transit goods to Uganda and other countries in the region. Opolot said that this was reached during a meeting between Museveni and Kibaki in Nairobi last week.
Museveni was in Kenya trying to broker negotiations between Kibaki and Odinga.