Denmark pledges more support to EA community

Denmark will continue supporting the East African Community integration process so the bloc can achieve its goals, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt has said.
A busy Busia border point at the Uganda-Kenya border. Dr Sezibera told visiting Danish PM that the EAC integration will streamline border trade by lifting tariffs.   The New Times/ Net.
A busy Busia border point at the Uganda-Kenya border. Dr Sezibera told visiting Danish PM that the EAC integration will streamline border trade by lifting tariffs. The New Times/ Net.

Denmark will continue supporting the East African Community integration process so the bloc can achieve its goals, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt has said.

Thorning-Schmidt, who was paying a courtesy call on the EAC Secretary-General Richard Sezibera, said Denmark is “a very strong supporter of regional integration” adding that her country would do everything possible to collaborate with the community.

She encouraged EAC to expedite the deal with the EU on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), which she said would mutually benefit the two parties and “will help integrate the region into the global market.”

Negotiations for EAC-EU trade deals, known as EPAs, are going on, and if consensus is reached, it will provide market framework for the regional business community in Europe.

During the meeting, the officials covered a variety of issues, including implementation of the EAC Customs Union and the Common Market protocols, negotiations for the Monetary Union and prospects of increasing renewable energy in the region.

‘Excellent friend’


Dr Sezibera described Denmark as “an excellent friend of the community.”

“There is a sense of urgency among all of us,” Dr Sezibera said, reaffirming commitment by member states to speed up the integration process.

He also said the EAC Single Customs Territory would soon yield fruits.

“I expect that this year we shall reach an agreement on this. That’s the priority,” he said, adding that the Single Customs Territory would significantly effect on the inter-state customs borders, leading to a reduction in barriers to trade in the region.

He also said he looked forward to the EAC collaborating with Denmark to tap the bloc’s renewable energy potential.

“This is our area of emphasis. We want to grow and we want to grow green,” Dr Sezibera said.

He said renewable energy is a critical component of the region’s bid to industrialise, saying the bloc’s energy production levels are far from adequate if it is to realise the 40 per cent target contribution to GDP by the manufacturing sector.

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