Kenyan Premier calls for regional efforts on security

The Kenyan Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, has called upon EAC member states to share intelligence and collectively fight pirates and terrorist groups in the Indian Ocean, in order to foster regional peace and economic growth.Odinga was yesterday addressing the East Africa Summit that brought together investors, economists and government officials from the region and beyond to debate the future of the region.
EAC Secretary General, Dr. Richard Sezibera (L) Primier Raila Odinga of Kenya (c), and Robert Adams of The Economist during the summit, yesterday in Kigali. The New Times /TKisambira.
EAC Secretary General, Dr. Richard Sezibera (L) Primier Raila Odinga of Kenya (c), and Robert Adams of The Economist during the summit, yesterday in Kigali. The New Times /TKisambira.

The Kenyan Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, has called upon EAC member states to share intelligence and collectively fight pirates and terrorist groups in the Indian Ocean, in order to foster regional peace and economic growth.

Odinga was yesterday addressing the East Africa Summit that brought together investors, economists and government officials from the region and beyond to debate the future of the region.

“We are getting our act together and want to benefit from the synergies of integration. Other countries like South Sudan, North Sudan, Somalia and the DRC have expressed desire to join the EAC; but they have been politically unstable for a while,” Odinga said.

“Somalia hasn’t had a stable government for the last 20 years and as a result, their people have suffered extensively.  As the EAC, we must continue contributing to a peaceful end to the instabilities in these countries because they are a threat to regional security”.

He added that the region was currently fast-tracking infrastructural projects in energy, transport and ICT as the backbone of the integration.

“The railway system was under looked in the past and yet it is very crucial for the business sector. The region is now constructing a standard bridge railway line from Nairobi, to Kampala, to Kigali and Bujumbura,” Odinga added.

Ali Mufuruki, the CEO of Infotech Investment Group, a Tanzanian firm, told the delegates that business in East Africa is bound to grow despite challenges and uncertainties in the region’s political sphere.

“East Africa has seen wars and instabilities and has risen through all that to become conducive to trade. By 2025, EA will have 184 million people and by 2050, it will have 320 million people.  With that size of population, the region is expected to be the forth biggest trade area in the world. As East Africans, we need to be mindful of the opportunities, develop critical institutions and be business savvy,” Mufuruki said.

The summit ended on a high note with delegates requesting public officials to constantly avail each country’s updated information and statistics relevant to investors and workers.

ivan.mugisha@newtimes.co.rw

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