East Africa: EAC Integration Agenda On Course As Partners Pump $500m

THE East African Community (EAC) is optimistic of realising its integration agenda, with development partners injecting 500m US dollars in the past five years, to jack up the agenda.

The figure entails both direct and technical support to various aspects of the EAC integration.

Addressing the Second Community’s Development Partners Forum here, EAC Secretary General, Ambassador Liberat Mfumukeko was confident about the prospects of realising the integration agenda, thanks to the support from development partners.

“With this revamped collaboration, the EAC has been able to spearhead the integration agenda with remarkable speed,” noted the Secretary General.

The main contributors to the EAC Development Programmes include Germany, the USA through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), European Union (EU) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

“The EAC has transformed itself from a loose co-operation framework into a fast-emerging, solid and dynamic regional economic bloc… it has also evolved strong institutions and vigorous programme delivery, which are already making an impact on the economies of the region,” he said.

The economic bloc was recently ranked as first among the eight Regional Economic Communities in the Africa Regional Integration Index Report.

launched in Addis Ababa through the collaboration between the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Union Commission (AUC).

Ambassador Mfumukeko, however, called for more partnerships with the business community and, in particular, the East African Business Council(EABC) in industrial development through investment in private sector development and improvement of business environment.

The Head of European Union Delegation in Tanzania, Ambassador Roeland van de Geer said the forum was crucial for Development Partners to ensure an alignment of their respective cooperation programmes with those of the EAC.

The Diplomat further emphasised the need for involving all EAC institutions and representatives of key regional non-state actors including the private sector in the forum, to share their valuable experiences of regional integration.

“Let me assure the EAC that all Development Partners are willing to support the key priorities of EAC as articulated in the Fifth Development Strategy endorsed in February 2018,” he said.

The Head of EU delegation appreciated the EAC’s willingness to engage on sector specific priority areas, particularly on key regional priorities given the wide and ambitious portfolio of EAC.

The EAC second Development Partners forum sought to foster synergies and leverage available resources while avoiding duplication of efforts in financing EAC programmes and projects.

Last week, the African Development Bank (AfDB) announced that it had approved the Regional Integration Strategy with Projects worth up to 2bn US dollars for the East African Community.

The Abidjan-based financial institution is among the EAC Development Partners, with its support in the EAC oriented towards “Accelerating East Africa’s Transformation through Regional Integration”.

According to statement released by the AfDB recently, 20 projects worth 2bn US dollars will be implemented by the EAC Partner States in the next five years under AfDB’s Regional Integration Strategy Paper (RISP) for Eastern Africa (EA-RISP 2018-22) which has since been approved by the Bank’s Board of Directors.


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Publish date : 2018-10-30 12:48:21

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