RUBAVU - The executive secretary of The Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL) has said that the bloc will work tirelessly through its projects to foster cooperation among its member states.
Gabriel Toyi said the member states DRC, Rwanda and Burundi will foster cooperation by advocating for peace, sustainable security, economic integration as well as the wellbeing of people through poverty reduction plans.
Toyi was speaking at a meeting that brought together delegates from the European Community (EC), CEPGL officials and Director Generals of various CEPGL projects such as the Zootechnical Research Institute (IRAZ), Great Lakes countries Development Bank (BDEGL) and the body in charge of electricity in the Great Lakes Region (SINELAC) which is situated in Bukavu DRC.
“Although we have had many challenges due to wars and armed conflicts that characterized CEPGL member states in the past, we are optimistic the current increased diplomatic ties among the member states will help us achieve our objectives,” said Toyi.
The meeting held Tuesday at CEPGL head offices in Gisenyi was meant to evaluate current progress, setting goals for the future by discussing how various projects can be developed to improve people’s welfare among member countries.
During the meeting, CEPGL officials explained activities of various projects to representatives of their potential donors mainly the European Community so as to encourage them provide more support to the organization in its struggle towards its goals of developing and improving the wellbeing of Great Lakes people.
Toyi revealed that DRC had delayed to send its representative and that the annual contribution to CEPGL was currently being paid by only Rwanda and Burundi.
“We currently have only representatives from Burundi and Rwanda, DRC has not yet sent their representative, but during his visit to CEPGL head offices, DRC foreign affairs minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba said that preparations were underway and the representatives had already been nominated to join their counterparts at the organizations’ offices in Gisenyi” he said. He added that the minister also promised that DRC will soon start sending its annual contribution to CEPGL like other member states.
The European Community delegation was headed by Ambassador David McRae who is also EC’s envoy to the Great Lakes countries.
He said he was happy with CEPGL’s success and said that the Community will continue to support the organization to achieve its objectives of improving the welfare of the Great Lakes people and well as strengthening cooperation among the CEPGL member states.
CEPGL was established in September 1976 and comprises institutions shared by Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. Its main aim is to foster economic integration and facilitate the movement of goods and people