ARUSHA - The Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania, Ingunn Klepsvik, yesterday paid a courtesy call on the EAC Secretary General, Dr. Richard Sezibera, in his office in Arusha, Tanzania, according to a statement from the EAC secretariat.
Welcoming the Ambassador, Sezibera highlighted major developments in the integration process, notably, the coming into force of the EAC Customs Union on 1 January 2005, the commencement of the Common Market Protocol from July 2010, and the ongoing negotiations on the EAC Monetary Union.
The Secretary General informed the Norwegian envoy that the need to deepen the East African integration, and fulfill the long cherished dream of a united East Africa, cannot be over emphasised.
“Our long history of association and the close knit social, economic, political and cultural ties reinforce the East African peoples’ desire to unite as one and become a power to reckon with in the African continent and the world at large”.
Sezibera briefed Klepsvik on the five broad priority areas that he intends to pursue in the next five years, including strengthening the operations of the Customs Union, and operationalisation of the Common Market Protocol.
He also informed Ms. Klepsvik of of the bloc’s efforts to put in place a robust regional infrastructure development program to facilitate trade and ease the free movement of the people in the region, conclusion of the negotiations of the EAC Monetary Union Protocol and having it in place by 2012, as directed by the EAC Heads of State Summit.
The Secretary General hailed Norway’s support to the EAC through the Partnership Fund and other initiatives.
The Norwegian Ambassador thanked the Secretary General for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to her and commended the EAC Secretariat for the enormous work done within a limited time that has led to important milestones in the integration process.
“We consider EAC as an important economic and political development in the region and I assure you of our continued support to the integration agenda,” Klepsvik assured the EAC Secretary General.
“The EAC is on the path of becoming a formidable economic and political bloc to be reckoned with in Africa and globally” she said.