The new Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of EAC affairs, George Bill Kayonga has vowed to use his experience to help eliminate Non Tariff Barriers that have become an impediment to trade in the region.
Kayonga who has been serving as Rwandan High Commissioner to Kenya, assumed his new responsibilities in a ceremony that attracted several government officials at the ministry.
He disclosed that he is ready to utilise the experience from his previous job, to work together with other officials to fight the obstructions that slow down the integration process.
”I know it’s a long process but I have been in a country where NTBs are so high; I will therefore use this opportunity to ensure we address this problem,” he said in interview with The New Times.
Some of the barriers NTBs include bad roads, delays at border crossings and lack of harmonised import and export standards and procedures.
Monique Mukaruliza, the Minister for EAC, commended the outgoing permanent secretary, Robert Sali, describing him as a competent and productive person who has done a lot towards the development of the ministry as well as serving the country transparently.
“We have achieved a lot as a ministry because of him. We thank you for being an ambassador to not only the East African Community but also beyond. You are still a member of our family,” she said.
The minister advised the new official that though there might be some challenges, he should embark on sensitising nationals about the regional integration process as well as building the capacity of his fellow staff.
Ssali, who joined the ministry in 2009, said that he is available should the new Permanent Secretary require support.