The move to set level playing grounds for Rwanda joining the common market has started.
The country’s regional integration committee yesterday left for Arusha, Tanzanzia to hold a three-day meeting to determine modalities and programmes for negotiations.
Prudence Sebahizi, executive secretary of Rwanda’s regional integration committee said they are to push for the common market committee to be divided into three groups.
“Each group will be assigned a concern and then determine how and when to begin negotiations,” he said.
Sebahizi said one group will handle monetary and economic issues, free movement of capital and service; while another will handle institutional reforms. The third group will cater for free movement of persons and right of residence.
He said the common market negotiations were meant to start early this month but by press time, he could not determine what has caused the delay. However, Sebahizi was optimistic that negotiations might begin soon after the programmes has been drawn.
“There is only one year for negotiations in the EAC common market, customs union and others EAC agreements like Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA’s) with the European Union,” Sebahizi said.
His comment comes at a time concern were raised by Rwanda’s high level task force and other key stakeholders that the allocated time frame for negotiations was not enough.
But against this concern, Rwanda’s Ambassador to the Great Lakes Region and regional integration committed chairman, DR Richard Sezibera urged stakeholders to deliver within the available time frame for the integration is not choice but a must.