Why are some EAC states missing in the integration debate?

Editor,I wish to respond to Kenneth Agutamba’s article tittled, “Railway will test tenacity of ‘coalition of the willing’”, published in the Sunday Times of January 12.

Editor,

I wish to respond to Kenneth Agutamba’s article tittled, “Railway will test tenacity of ‘coalition of the willing’”, published in the Sunday Times of January 12.

I can’t help but pity Burundi. All the articles I read on the East African Community (EAC), Burundi gets the least mentions. In this article, it’s mentioned only once. Yet despite all this, the country seems to be comfortably seated in its cocoon oblivious of the progress others are making.

Their major newspapers have failed to integrate in the general EAC readership mainly because they have stuck to French and Kirundi, a factor that has further isolated the Burundian elite from the integration debate of the EAC.

Burundi’s inability to learn from Rwanda’s progress is really disappointing and it’s likely to lag behind as others race away.

There’s a time Ugandan journalist Charles Onyango-Obbo suggested the country needs a major scandal to attract attention, well, that was a controversial approach but then what else could work better? Even their national football team seems to be on holiday, and none of their clubs has won the CECAFA, which is one of the major sporting events of the EAC.

Burundi’s only hope, in my opinion, is another ‘coalition of the less willing’ with Tanzania, which by the way, can afford to be excluded from the tripartite friendship.

I once again thank Mr Agutamba for this great commentary.

Wilbert T.

East Africa

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Dear Wilbert T,

I am afraid to say that you should get your facts right before making such poorly researched comments. Vital’O, representing Burundi, won the CECAFA tournament in 2013. As I’m writing this now, the team representing Burundi is in South Africa to participate in the CHAN.

And by the way, when comparing Burundi to other nations in the EAC Please keep in mind that it was not until 2005 that we had peace. We still have a long way to catch up, and we are moving in the right direction.

Edmond Niyubahwe
, Bujumbura

Burundi

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