VILLAGE URUGWIRO - President Paul Kagame yesterday received the Secretary General of the East African Community, Dr. Richard Sezibera, at Village Urugwiro.
The visit is the first of a series of meetings that the Secretary General will hold with the Heads of State of EAC member countries.
Speaking to reporters shortly after meeting Kagame, Sezibera said that he came to give an update on the integration progress.
“We came to update the President about the progress within the integration agenda of the EAC. We discussed how to advance both the customs union which is now in place and how to operationalise the common market,” Sezibera said.
“We also talked about the negotiations of the monetary union as well as different projects and programmes within the community especially infrastructure and the involvement of East Africans within the integration process.”
The Secretary General said that he was glad to have received the President’s views and directions on the matters discussed.
Sezibera disclosed that by 2012, the Monetary Union should be in place as planned.
“We have an agreement on the protocol; the technical teams have started the negotiations,” he said.
“The agenda is tight, but I think we are on track because Governors of central banks are involved and they just completed their meeting in Bujumbura.
The Ministers of Finance, as part of their pre-budget preparations, are taking up this matter too. I am confident that at this momentum, we shall be able to meet the timeline set by the Heads of State.”
The EAC Secretary General pointed out that, during his term, he would like to make sure that the Common Market makes sense and all the agreements therein are fully functional and a reality on the ground.
“We have very many master plans that we need to make sure come to the implementation stage.”
They include projects like the Dar –Salaam – Isaka – Kigali – Bujumbura railway line.
Sezibera disclosed that initial studies have been completed and are now entering into the phase of packaging the studies and completing design studies before looking for financing.
The project is part of the EAC priority investment programmes which attaches great importance to multinational poverty reduction projects, through regional infrastructure development and cooperation among member countries.