VILLAGE URUGWIRO - A high-level East African Community (EAC) delegation led by Ambassador Juma Volter Mwapachu, the EAC Secretary General, has met and briefed President Kagame on the bloc’s upcoming undertakings.
Mwapachu arrived in the country Sunday with a delegation of thirteen other senior EAC officials including, Amb. Julius Onen, the Deputy Secretary General, Projects and Programmes.
Amb. Richard Sezibera, Kagame’s Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region revealed that the delegation had been holding working sessions with members of the Cabinet and other senior officials.
“The main purpose of our visit to His Excellency Kagame was basically … you know he is the Chair of the east African community … so we had to come and brief him about what programs and projects we’ll be undertaking during the next one year,” Mwapachu told reporters shortly after meeting the President at Village Urugwiro.
“We were able to exchange views about various areas to see where he would want to put more emphasis for us to implement,” he added.
Mwapachu underscored that there were numerous projects on the bloc’s current listing, infrastructure being one of them.
“You know there are issues about the Power Master Plan , the road-network…there is going to be quite a lot of activity going on during the next one year but we also discussed issues about how we can promote tourism as one region,” he explained.
Other senior staff of the EAC Secretariat who accompanied Mwapachu included Wilbert Kaahwa, Counsel to the Community, Flora Musonda, Director for Trade and, Philip Wambugu, Director of Planning and Infrastructure.
Talking to The New Times later in the day, Sezibera pointed out that the President was clear on issues, and drew attention to some of the bloc’s challenges that ‘can be removed without much finance.’
“Things such as roadblocks, working time, opening border posts and so on, need very little financial capability to remove,” Amb. Sezibera highlighted.
He added that apart from a number of infrastructural issues that were discussed, the need to take a critical look at the bloc’s civil aviation sector was on the list of items of the whole exercise – strategic briefing with members of Rwandan cabinet and other stakeholders.
Just last week, the Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (CASSOA) embarked on a re-certification exercise for airlines in the region.
That was after a January 31 Third CASSOA Board Meeting at the Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania approved several activities geared at improving the bloc’s safety and security of civil aviation sector.
The Board meeting approved the programme and budget for the financial year 2008/09; the qualifications, training and sharing of airworthiness and flight operations inspectors; and aerodrome and aviation security technical guidance materials. The Board also considered the gap analysis in airworthiness and Flight Operations Inspectors within the region.
Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority’s (RCAA) Francis Rusenyanteko is reported to have attended as an observer.
CASSOA was set up in April 2007 to help Partner States implement recommended standards and ensure a safe and secure aviation industry.