I would like to commend the East African Heads of State for their continued efforts geared at ensuring free movement of people and goods within the member states of the bloc.
With the removal of most of the non-tariff barriers along the Northern Corridor, a goods container now takes four days from the port of Mombasa to Kigali, down from 22 days previously. This is commendable.
We no longer require a passport to travel within East Africa (Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya) but rather a national ID (and identification document in case of Uganda). Tourists with East Africa Visa can use it in any of the states for a period of six months encouraging them to visit the region.
There are ongoing discussions on how to remove the roaming charges for making calls within East Africa but the Heads of State have agreed in principle and will be meeting in Kampala in October to among other things get briefed on the progress by the steering committee.
Clearly, a lot of visible and tangible benefits can for the first time be felt by the EAC citizens.
I am a Kenyan working in Kigali and have been scouting around for a postgraduate course but, unfortunately, all universities, including those back home, have two separate fee structures: Citizens and non-citizens, the latter in most cases being double or triple.
Can something be done by the EAC Heads of State so we can have these rates harmonised as we continue to invest in the future?
Jared Mokamba, Kenyan living in Rwanda