EAC integration on track – Kenyan Senator

The decision by Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda to go trilateral in implementing some protocols is a move that will strengthen the East African Community (EAC) integration agenda.

The decision by Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda to go trilateral in implementing some protocols is a move that will strengthen the East African Community (EAC) integration agenda.

And, according to Kenyan Senator Mutahi Kagwe, the integration process will not be derailed despite challenges.

He was speaking yesterday after holding a closed door meeting with Rwandan Senate president, Dr Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo, in Kigali.

Kagwe, who is leading a delegation of Kenyan legislators on week-long study tour to learn about different government policies as well as strengthening cooperation between the two EAC member countries, said; “What we want is a community that will benefit its citizens. Whoever feels sidelined should join.”

Fast-tracking projects

The three countries have agreed to fast-track a joint railway line project, oil pipeline, adoption of national identity cards as travel documents as well as establishment of the single tourist visa and single customs territory.

The use of identity cards as travel documents and single tourist visa will become operational in January next year in Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda.

During a meeting held in Entebbe, Uganda in June, the Presidents of the three countries also agreed to fast track the EAC political federation.

Dr Ntawukuriryayo said the other countries, namely Burundi and Tanzania, will join as the integration deepens.

“In the meantime, the three will continue to spearhead the integration agenda; our citizens need to move freely and do business that’s how they will benefit,” he said.

During the closed door discussion, the senators discussed insecurity in the region and strategised ways of fighting causes of insecurity within the community.

“It is imperative to have a proper way of fighting any form of terrorism that has claimed lives of innocent civilians in East Africa,” he added.

Last month, terror outfit Al-Shabaab killed more than 60 people during an attack on Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi.