A regional meeting of the East African Community ( EAC) Council of Ministers is currently convening in Bujumbura, Burundi to discuss the pending annexes of the Common Market Protocol.
This was revealed yesterday by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of East African Affairs, Robert Ssali, in telephone interview from Burundi where he is attending the meeting.
According to Ssali, the meeting was convened at the directive of the Heads of State who instructed the council to negotiate the remaining five annexes.
The remaining annexes include health and social welfare services, environmental services, recreation, culture and sports services, construction and engineering related services, among others.
The deputy SG of the EAC in charge of infrastructure and planning, Alloys Mutabingwa, while addressing the meeting, said that the guiding principle in working out the remaining annexes was to fully align and adapt partner states national laws and regulatory framework to the Common Market.
“Putting limits to such re-alignments shall impair the effectiveness we need in operationalizing the protocol; our appeal to this session is to see how such hurdles can be removed,” he said
Mutabingwa informed the session that regional citizens are waiting to see the immediate benefits of the common market, such as being able to cross borders without using a passport.