ARUSHA - Ministers in charge of the East African Community affairs and planning dockets in the EAC member states, over the weekend, discussed a draft document on the 4th EAC Development Strategy (2011-2016), in Arusha, Tanzania.
The strategy intends to consolidate the gains of the Customs Union, to fully implement the Common Market, negotiate and implement a Monetary Union Protocol, and to strengthen the foundation for a fast-tracked Political Federation.
Speaking to The New Times, yesterday, Monique Mukaruliza, Rwanda’s Minister for EAC Affairs, said that the draft strategy sets out the implementation of major master plans in the key productive sectors of the regional bloc.
“These sectors range from Agriculture and Food Security, Industry and Manufacturing and Tourism as well as major transformations and deepening of integration in the Social and Political areas,” she said.
Mukaruliza stated that the successful implementation of the strategy will stimulate investments, promote employment and growth and lead to increased diversification and major transformation of the region’s economy.
The strategy also addresses the presently serious deficits in energy and transport infrastructure at national and regional levels.
It also places major focus on the development of the Lake Victoria Basin, which is arguably the region’s most precious shared economic resource of greatest potential, as well as other basins, including the Lake Tanganyika basin.
During the meeting, the Sectoral Council of ministers observed that, in order to actualise the fundamental principles of the EAC, there was need to assess the equitable distribution of benefits accruing to or to be derived from the operation of the community.
The Council also noted that benefits should not be confined to hosting of EAC Organs and Institutions only but should be looked at with respect to all benefits and costs accruing to and derived from projects and programs.
The ministers recommended the development strategy to the next meeting of the full council scheduled for September 2011, for consideration and adoption.