Infrastructure development high on agenda
A delegation of Ministers responsible for affairs of the East African Community (EAC) is on a working visit to the Peoples Republic of China.
The delegation travelled with senior government officials of the EAC partner states including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. It is led by the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for EAC Affairs in Uganda, Eriya Kategaya.
Kategaya is also Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers. The delegation also include Kategaya’s counterparts Amason J.Kingi, EAC minister for Kenya, Dr. Diodorus Kamala of Tanzania, Monique Mukaruliza, of Rwanda and Venerand Bakevyumusaya of Burundi.
Others include the Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community in Charge of Projects and Programmes, Ambassador Julius Baker Onen and other senior government officials.
The main focus of the EAC Ministerial visit is to learn from the Chinese experience in infrastructure development and to garner support and partnership in developing the regional infrastructures.
The result of the visit, including the robust perspectives and recommendations that came out of the Strategic EAC Retreats for Permanent Secretaries held in Mwanza, Tanzania in early March this year.
They also include the meet that converged Ministers responsible for Infrastructure held in April this year in Kampala at Munyonyo Resort in Kampala, Uganda will feed into the overall EAC Infrastructure Development Plan, which is under preparation.
While in China the delegation will meet and hold talks with officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Commerce and Industry, Roads, Infrastructure and other key sectors.
The delegation will also visit some selected infrastructural projects like hydro power stations, Roads and Railways Networks in some Provinces of the Peoples Republic of China.
The EAC Ministerial visit to China comes at an opportune time when the EAC integration process is deepening with the progress towards the establishment of the Common Market by 2010 and the recent enlargement of the Community by the admission of the Republics of Rwanda and Burundi.
With these developments, the Community is well set on the path to deliver concrete achievements and tangible benefits of regional integration.
On various occasions, the Secretary General of the EAC Ambassador Juma Mwapachu has stressed the significance of Infrastructure, to facilitate trade and investments, at a time when the EAC national economies were growing in response to the operations of the Customs Union and the move towards the establishment of the EAC Common Market.
Through the development of infrastructure, including roads, railways, civil aviation and telecommunications, the EAC aims to achieve not only higher standards of living in the region but also to make the region competitive and attractive for sustainable investment, trade and development and full integration into the global economic society.