NYARUGENGE - Rwandan stakeholders insist that land should be considered within the context of the economic and business arena vis-à-vis the on going Common Market negotiations.
This comes after a day-long workshop on the progress of the East African Common Market negotiations held at the Kigali Serena Hotel Tuesday.
In the meeting, land was presented as a controversial issue. It resolved that the claim should be having equal treatment of national and foreign investors within the framework of right of establishment, among others.
“On the issue of land, we concluded that no discrimination should be applied to non-nationals,” Monique Mukaruliza, Rwanda’s Minister for the East African Community (EAC) Affairs Wednesday told The New Times on phone.
This decision and others from the Rwanda stakeholders’ discussions will now go from the High Level Task Force (HLTF) to the Multisectoral Committee of Permanent Secretaries, up to the bloc’s Council of Ministers where concrete steps will be taken.
On Tuesday, RIC’s Executive Secretary – Prudence Sebahizi revealed that land policy concerns, especially in Tanzania, were delaying progress.
As earlier reported, in article 13 (the right of establishment) of the draft protocol for the common market’s establishment, Uganda and Tanzania maintain that the sub-article be deleted because it is not a Common Market issue.
The well attended Rwandan stakeholders’ meeting, among others, decided that partner states’ policies be harmonised to facilitate deeper integration.
National identification documents (IDs) were also discussed. They (IDs) facilitate the movement of persons within the Community and the meeting considered that partner states should harmonise the processes of issuing them and agree on standards.
While officiating at the meeting Tuesday, Minister Mukaruliza pointed out that Heads of State have already decided that negotiations on the Common Market protocol be concluded by December 2008 and implementation starts in January 2010.