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The 43rd EAC Consultative Meeting of Facilitation of Air Transport held in Uganda

EAC Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 28th November 2017:

The 43rd EAC Consultative Meeting on Facilitation of Air Transport (EAC FAL), was  held  from 22nd to 24th November 2017 in Fort Portal, Uganda. 

The meeting is a forum for discussion  on issues that affect Air Transport in the region in order to comply with Annex 9 of the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation (Air Transport Facilitation) which requires every State to adopt all required measures to prevent unnecessary delays to aircraft, crews, passengers, and cargo, especially in the administration of the laws relating to immigration, quarantine, customs and clearance.

The meeting refers to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards and recommended practices and proposes appropriate recommendations to be implemented by the Partner States at the various Airports especially those approved as EAC Priority Airports. It is hosted by EAC Partner States, two times a year, on rotational basis.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Katushabe, Commissioner, Transport Regulation and Safety, Ministry of Works and Transport, Uganda  on behalf of the Minister for Works and Transport, informed the meeting that air transport plays a key role in the promotion of trade, tourism and economic growth of the region. 

He reminded the participants that Air Transport facilitation is an important aspect of aviation and the EAC airports have to continuously enhance capacity of existing infrastructure to be able to cope with future aviation demands, meet international requirements and to contend with the ever changing threats against Civil Aviation. 

He pointed out that the solutions to the challenges civil aviation faces with regard to infrastructure, safety, security and environmental concerns require a consultative approach in a forum like this.

The 43rd EAC Consultative meeting started with a visit of the various facilities at the Entebbe International Airport. The participants commended the Republic of Uganda for improvements in Air transport facilitation including the capacity improvement of the immigration at arrival, expansion of space for the duty free area and at various lounges, improved baggage handling system with improved security system, full internet access within the Airport, upgraded passenger handling system, and the ongoing works for expansion and upgrading of the Airport including the cargo terminal.

The meeting further discussed and agreed among other recommendations, to ensure continuous improvement of clearance processes at the EAC Airports, to introduce online payment systems for all Air operators, to fully implement paperless immigration process, to share information on people involved in theft/losses/damages of baggage and other valuable items at EAC airports for monitoring purposes, and to increase their non-aeronautical revenue streams so as to reach a 30:70 ratio by 2020.

The meeting concluded with a tour to various tourist attractions of Fort Portal in Western Uganda including Semirik hot springs, kigere crater and Omukama’s palace.

Representatives from Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Civil Aviation and Airport Authorities, Airlines, Customs, Immigration and other Aviation stakeholders from the EAC Partner States as well as representatives from the EAC Secretariat and Civl Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency attended the meeting.

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 2008:9001 Certified

4th Extraordinary Sectoral Council on Transport, Communication and Meteorology held in Arusha

EAC Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 21st November, 2017:

The 4th Extraordinary Sectoral Council on Transport, Communication and Meteorology (TCM) to consider and approve status of implementation of the Directives of the 3rd Heads of State (HoS) Infrastructure Retreat, to update  the HoS Priority Infrastructure Projects, and to approve proposed flagship projects was held on 13th – 15th November, 2017 at the EAC Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania.

Speaking at the opening session, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Planning and Infrastructure, Eng. Steven Mlote informed the meeting that the implementation of the proposed flagship projects which have high impact on regional integration and social - economic growth of the region required an investment amounting to more than US$ 55 billion.

Eng. Mlote  called for joint efforts between all stakeholders including Partner States, co-operating partners and the private sector in order to realize the huge financial investments required for infrastructure development in the bloc.

On his  part, the Chair of the Extraordinary Sectoral Council and Uganda’s Minister of State for Works and Transport, Hon. Aggrey Bagiire  informed the meeting that infrastructure plays an important role in promoting regional integration hence the need to continuously enhance capacities of existing infrastructure to cope with future demands and to meet International standards and requirements.

The Sectoral Council reviewed the key achievements since the 3rd Heads of State Infrastructure Retreat held in November 2014, which include;

  • Construction of Makebuko – Butaganzwa and Ruygi - Cankuzo roads (Burundi);
  • Construction of Phase 1 of Standard Gauge Railway from Mombasa to Nairobi (Kenya);
  • Construction of 2nd Container Terminal – Kipevu West Phase I at Mombasa Port increasing container handling capacity by 550 TEUs.;
  • Construction of a new single point mooring, one stop centre, expanded gates and improved access roads at the Port of Da es Salaam;
  • Upgrading of the Ndumbi Port on Lake Nyasa (Tanzania); Construction of Voi- Taveta road (Kenya);
  • Construction of the road between Simiyu/Mara border and Sirari/Isebania (Tanzania);
  • Road upgrades in Dar es Salaam; and Construction of 120 KM of 10- inch diameter oil pipeline (i.e. line 6) parallel to existing one from Sinendet to Kisumu (Kenya).

Among the flagship infrastructure projects approved by the 4th Extraordinary Sectoral Council in a bid for intra -EAC bloc development/integration and connection to its neighbouring countries includes;

  • Construction of a new crude oil pipeline from Hoima (Uganda) to Tanga (Tanzania) (1,443km) plus Hoima Oil Refinery in Uganda;
  • Construction of Mombasa – Nairobi – Malaba – Jinja Expressway (Kenya and Uganda);
  • Development of EAC-based Airports and EAC Unified Upper Flight Information Region;
  • Construction to standard gauge railway of the Dar es Salaam – Isaka – Mwanza and Isaka -Kigali/ Keza –Gitega – Musongati (Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi);
  • Construction to standard gauge of Uvinza – Musongati Railway line (Tanzania and Burundi, Construction to standard gauge of the Mombasa – Nairobi – Malaba – Kampala-Kigali line with Malaba – Nimule Juba spur (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan) Construction of Dar es Salaam to Chalinze Expressway (144km) in Tanzania;
  • LAPSSET Corridor Development (Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia),  the Construction of Rusizi Hydro power Project (Burundi, Rwanda and DRC), Construction of Rufiji Hydropower Project at Stiegler’s Gorge along the Rufiji River, 2100 MW (Tanzania), and Development of Zanzibar Ports among others.

The meeting also approved “Development of Resilient Infrastructure to Accelerate Industrialization, Support Trade to Foster Socio-Economic Transformation in the EAC’’ as the theme of the 4th HoS Infrastructure Retreat.

The meeting recommended to the Council to consider and adopt the proposed new projects and to request the Heads of State to champion the implementation of the proposed flagship projects.

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 2008:9001 Certified

The Secretary General of the East African Community, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko( L) shake hands with Director General of the African Development Bank, East Africa Regional Resource Centre, (EARC), Mr. Gabriel Negatu after the signing ceremony

EAC gets US$ 1,515,515 Grant from AfDB to Finance key Multinational Road Sections between Masaka, Uganda and Kumunazi, Tanzania

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 14th November, 2017:

The African Development Bank East Africa Regional Resource Centre (EARC), and the East African Community (EAC) on Monday 13th November, 2017 signed a Financing Agreement of $1,151,515 to finance the Project Preparation Phase of three (3) key Multinational Road Sections between Masaka in Uganda to Kumunazi in Tanzania.

The Secretary General of the East African Community, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko signed on behalf of the Community while Mr. Gabriel Negatu, Director General of the African Development Bank East Africa Regional Resource Centre (EARC), signed on behalf of African Development Bank.

The purpose of the Grant is to finance the Project Preparation Phase of three (3) key Multinational Road Sections between Masaka in Uganda to Kumunazi in Tanzania. The key Multinational Road Sections covered under this Grant for preparatory works include:  Masaka to Mutukula Section (89.5km) in Uganda; Mutukula to Kyaka Section (30km) in Tanzania as well as Bugene to Kasulo to Kumunazi Section (133kM) also located in Tanzania.

At the same occasion, the EAC presented a list of 18 priority projects to be supported by the Bank under its Regional Integration Strategy Paper(RISP) 2017-2021

Presence at the signing ceremony were the EAC Deputy Secretaries General in charge of Planning and Infrastructure , Eng Steven Mlote, Counsel to the Community, Dr. Anthony Kafumbe, Executive Secretary of Lake Victoria Basin Commission( LVBC), Dr. Said Ali Matano and Executive Secretary of East African Health Research Commission (EAHRC), Prof Gibson Kibiki.

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 2008:9001 Certified

Presidents Magufuli and Museveni Launch Mutukula One-Stop Border Post

East African Community Secretariat, Arusha, Tanzania, 10th November, 2017:

H.E. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania and H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda together with EAC Secretary General Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko, East African Community Secretary General, on Thursday officially launched the Mutukula One Stop Border Post (OSBP) located on the Uganda/Tanzania border.

The construction of the Mutukula OSBP was carried out with funding of US$11.7million from the United Kingdom through the Department for International Development (DFID) while the systems and other related soft infrastructure equivalent to US$1.2million was funded by the Government of Canada, through Global Affairs, Canada.

The OSBP investment includes office buildings, roads and parking yards, cargo verification bays, scanner shed, passenger sheds, targeting booths, warehouse and canopies, ICT networks and hardware, furniture, and institutional support to the border agencies.

The OSBP ensures effective border control mechanisms are in place. It will boost trade by cutting the time taken to clear goods between the two Partner States, thus contributing to a reduction in transport cost, whilst increasing volumes of transhipment cargo through the Central Corridor. It is expected that time to cross the border will reduce by at least one third.

An OSBP is a “one stop” form of border crossing point jointly managed by adjoining Partner States, where multiple border agencies cooperate and collaborate with each other, and effectively coordinate their activities to maximise their operational efficiency. OSBP arrangement brings together under one roof, all the Government agencies performing border crossing controls procedures, doing away with need for motorised traffic and persons to undergo clearance twice at both sides of the border. This arrangement expedites movement, release and clearance of goods and persons across borders, by streamlining border procedures, automation of the border processes and simplification of trade documents.

 “I want to thank the British government who have supported us through TMEA, in the construction of the one stop border post making it easy to cross the borders and also to do business with Tanzania. Trade is a means that will help us create prosperity for the people.  My government is committed to creating wealth and jobs for the people through creation of enabling environment for services, Information Communication Technology, commercial agriculture and industries,” said President Museveni.  

Addressing the crowd in Kiswahili and directing that only three police road blocks between Dar-es-Saalam and Mutukula are official, President Magufuli commended TMEA for its support to the government and underscored the importance of the OSBP saying

“Since time immemorial, Mutukula has been and remains an important node of Tanzania and Uganda. Its importance goes beyond the residents of the two countries as I understand that over 400 World Food Programme trucks carrying food aid for refugees go through here, so the faster clearance is benefiting not only our traders, but also persons in need, and that is important. I am happy that as a result of the OSBP in Mutukula, Tanzania is now able to collect revenue from agencies like Tanzania Bureau of Standards, who were initially not represented at this border point, but are now here because of the OSBP,” said President Magufuli.

In his remarks, EAC Secretary General Amb. Mfumukeko said that the framers of the EAC integration instruments envisioned the OSBPs and embedded them in the EAC Customs Union Protocol at the time of its negotiation.

“The first OSBP operations was at Malaba railway station between Uganda and Kenya over ten years ago. At the same time Customs Departments having realized that multiple examination of goods at our internal borders was wasteful and caused unnecessary costs to business, started joint examination of cargo of which Mutukula Border was a pioneer.  These pilot programmes provided a practical justification for upscaling the One Stop Border program in the entire region,” said Amb. Mfumukeko.

UKAID has provided over US$52million to the East African Transit Improvement Programme (EATIP) through TMEA, as a contribution to the World Banks’ East Africa Trade and Transport Facilitation Project (EATTFP).

Speaking at the event, the UK High Commissioner to Uganda, Peter West said that increasing Uganda’s trade with its neighbours and the rest of the world was vital for generating growth, promoting job creation and reducing poverty.

“Increasing Uganda’s trade with its neighbors and the rest of the World is vital for generating growth, promoting job creation and reducing poverty. The UK government is proud to have contributed over £90 million through TradeMark East Africa to support Uganda and Tanzania to reduce the barriers to trade. By cutting red tape, reforming customs processes and improving roads, ports, and border posts, the UK is supporting the creation of an environment essential for businesses to grow,” said West.

The envoy added that the completion of the Mutukula border post marks an important milestone towards our goal of reducing by a third the time to import from the EAC and the rest of the world.

Over the years, delays in cross border clearance were attributed to duplication of handling procedures on either side of the border, poor institutional arrangement and cargo management systems inadequate physical infrastructures and services and immigration management. The new established OSBP has already addressed some of these challenges. Surveys indicate that since operationalisation of the OSBP early this year, the time to cross from Uganda to Tanzania has reduced by 66% from 10 hours in 2011 to 3.4 hours 27 minutes in June 2017. Whereas, crossing from Tanzania to Uganda has reduced by 90% from 46 hours to 4.5 in June 2017.  

Trade Mark East Africa CEO Frank Matsaert said that the completion and operationalisation of the Mutukula OSBP is a crucial milestone in increasing access to markets and the facilitation of the movement of cargo along the Central Corridor.

“When initially investing $12 million with our donors, the United Kingdom and Canada, greater access to markets, increased efficiency that would reduce costs by reducing time and improved infrastructure were just a few of our end goals. Ultimately, our projects in physical infrastructure and automation of key government trade processes like customs, have complemented each other to reduce the cost of doing business and boost trade volumes, increasing both Uganda’s and Tanzania’s overall trade competitiveness. Most importantly, they have contributed to governments being businesses being able to expand thus creating jobs, said Matsaert.

Official data shows that an average of 542 vehicles (310 of those cargo trucks) pass through the Mutukula-Mutukula crossing from Central Corridor into Uganda.

TMEA through its donors and in partnership with the East Africa Community has since 2010 supported 15 OSBPs in East Africa including South Sudan and has invested about US$117 million in OSBPs and access roads. They are: Kenya and Uganda’s Busia/Busia, Kenya and Uganda’s Malaba/Malaba, Rwanda and Uganda’s Kagitumba/Mirama Hills, Tanzania and Uganda’s Mutukula/Mutukula, Kenya and Tanzania’s Holili/Taveta, South Sudan and Uganda Nimule/Elegu, Burundi and Tanzania’s Kobero/Kabanga and lastly Tunduma on the Tanzanian side.

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 2008:9001 Certified

Stakeholder Workshop on Integrated Corridor Development - Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme opens in Bujumbura

East African Community Secretariat, Bujumbura, Burundi, November 3, 2017:

A two-day workshop on the Integrated Corridor Development Initiative—Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme organized by the East African Community and the Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency in close collaboration with the World Bank is underway at the Le Panoramique Hotel in Bujumbura, Burundi.

The objectives of the workshop are threefold: to identify and support project packaging to be included in the Programme for matching with available funds and additional fund mobilization; identify the next steps to finalize programme design and move to its implementation, and; identify potential Development Partners and investors to support the programme.

The workshop will give an opportunity to Partner States and regional organizations to highlight the projects they would like to be considered under the LTTP. In addition, Development Partners will also make presentations on projects they are committed to support.

Opening the workshop, Burundi’s Minister for Transport, Public Works and Equipment, Hon Jean Bosco Ntunzwenimana, underscored the importance of infrastructure development in the region and called for more financial support from stakeholders both in public and private sectors to implement all the project under Lake Tanganyika Programme.

Hon. Ntunzwenimana thanked the World Bank for supporting the Integrated Corridor Development initiative in and its continued commitment in supporting the implementation of the intermodal projects.

The Minister said improving connective infrastructure and removing policy barriers to trade can help drive economic diversification, the creation of new jobs and poverty reduction. He challenged member states to improve the regional transport network, in sustainable manner because it is essential for competitive and improved integration into the region and global market.

On his part, the EAC Director General—Customs and Trade, Mr. Kenneth Bagamuhunda, said that the Community recognizes that an integrated and efficient transport system is critical for attaining socio-economic development at the desired pace.

Mr. Bagamuhunda noted that the Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme represents yet another coordinated initiative between Partners States, Development Partners and Regional Organizations to deliver an integrated, efficient and cost effective transport system in the regions.

The Director General (DG) who represented the EAC Secretary General Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko emphasized the importance of infrastructure and efficient transport systems to the regional economic development in the EAC remains imperative.

“It is also apparent that required investment to deliver infrastructure projects to bridge the existing infrastructure deficit at a desired pace, cannot be achieved single-handedly by respective Governments,” added the DG.

Mr. Bagamuhunda commended the World Bank for their commitment to support the Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme.

The World Bank, Country Director in Burundi, Mr. Nestor Coffi, said that the Bank recognizes that regional integration plays a critical role in connecting people to markets, both within Africa and the global economy.

He reaffirmed Bank’s commitment to support the Riparian Countries, EAC, Central Corridor for Transport and Trade Facilitation, as well as Lake Tanganyika Authority, to design and implement infrastructure development programmes.

NOTES TO EDITORS

In 2014, the East African Community in collaboration with the World Bank commissioned a study to define an Integrated Corridor Development in EAC Countries (the Intermodal Strategy). The Strategy was endorsed for implementation during the Heads of State Retreat on Infrastructure Development and Financing held in Nairobi on 29th November 2014. The Strategy identified a mix of physical and institutional interventions to facilitate the implementation of an efficient and cost effective inter-modal transport system along the East African corridors.

The interventions have been packaged into a program for Integrated Corridor Development in EAC Countries comprising of (i) Lake Victoria Transport Program, (ii) Lake Tanganyika Transport Program (iii) Capacity building interventions and (iv) Restoring and strengthening of the physical infrastructure for ports and surface transport system. Implementation of the LVTP under this program has already commenced and the 2ndphase of the integrated corridor initiative will involve implementation of projects under the Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme.

Initiatives for integrated corridor development have also been undertaken by the Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency (CCTTFA) along the Central Corridor. In March 2015, the Central Corridor Presidential Round Table endorsed the Corridor Acceleration Initiative and tasked the Central Corridor Secretariat to coordinated resource mobilization to implement the identified programme. In the course of implementation of the corridor Acceleration initiative, a Central Corridor High Level Consultative Meeting held in July 2017 Kigoma, Tanzania; prioritized and developed an Action Plan for the ‘’Lake Tanganyika Integrated Transport Programme.

- ENDS -

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.


East African Community
EAC Close
Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
Arusha
United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac@eachq.org