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EAC Secretary General Addresses the Media Ahead of the Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme Workshop

The East African Community Bujumbura, Burundi, 1st November, 2017: 

The East African Community Secretary General, Amb Liberat Mfumukeko, on Tuesday addressed the Media on the upcoming Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme workshop to be held from 2nd to 3rd November, 2017 in Bujumbura, Burundi.

The Secretary General was accompanied by the Chair of the EAC Council of Ministers and Uganda’s Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Affairs, Rt Hon. Kirunda Kivejinja, the Executive Secretary of Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency, Captain Dieudonne Dukundane, and the Executive Director of Lake Tanganyika Authority, Engineer Nibirantije Jean-Marie.

Speaking at the press conference Amb. Mfumukeko said he was delighted at the take-off of the Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme saying the programme would yield tangible benefits for ordinary East Africans.

“Lake Tanganyika is uniquely placed to provide intermodal linkages between Tripartite Regional Economic blocks of EAC, COMESA and SADC and therefore a critical conduit not only for transport needs but also for wider economic benefits,” said Amb. Mfumukeko.

Amb. Mfumukeko told the press that the World Bank had committed about US$500 million to support the Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme. He however called for more support from other Development Partners by way of project uptakes, co-financing and blending.

The Secretary General said that Investment in infrastructure projects continues to receive the utmost political attention by the EAC Heads of States as expressed during their biennial retreats on infrastructure development and financing.

He said successful implementation of the Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme was expected to result into numerous benefits for the riparian states and the communities around the Lake.

On his part, the EAC Council of Ministers Chairperson, Rt Hon Kirunda Kivejinja, thanked the World Bank for supporting the Integrated Corridor Development initiative in EAC through the Intermodal Strategy.

He assured East Africans that the Community was fully committed to putting in place an integrated transport system with the Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme as part of the system.

“I wish to re-affirm the EAC’s commitment to building an efficient and reliable transport infrastructure that will spur economic growth and development throughout East Africa,” said Hon. Kivejinja.

The Executive Secretary of the Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency, Captain Dieudonne Dukundane, emphasized the importance of Lake Tanganyika in providing intermodal linkages between the EAC, COMESA and SADC.

Captain Dukundane said Lake Tanganyika was critical for promoting movement of people and goods within the East African region.

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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.

14th Meeting of the Sectoral Council on Transport, Communications and Meteorology (TCM) concluded in Mombasa, Kenya

East African Community Secretariat; Arusha, Tanzania; 06 July 2017:

The 14th Meeting of the Sectoral Council on Transport, Communications and Meteorology (TCM) was held in Mombasa, Kenya from 26th – 30th June 2017 to consider the status of implementation of projects and programmes in the roads, railways, civil aviation and airports, maritime, meteorology and communications sectors.

Also in the agenda was the consideration of preparations for the 4th Retreat of the EAC Heads of State on Infrastructure Development, implementation progress of studies, engineering designs and construction of multinational roads linking Partner States, status of One Stop Border Posts (OSBP), development of standard gauge railway (SGR) and improvement of the projects at the ports of Dar es Salaam, Mombasa and new port of Lamu.

In the civil aviation sector, the meeting considered the progress towards liberalization of air transport within the EAC and approved a framework for seamless upper air traffic control in the Community.

The Sectoral Council directed Partner States to complete the ratification of the EAC Protocol on Cooperation in Meteorology Services and also to migrate from mercury-based weather observation systems, in line with the Minamata Convention. Noting that the delay by Burundi and Tanzania to implement the EAC Roaming Framework was denying East Africans the benefits of affordable communication services.

Addressing the meeting during the official opening of the ministerial session, the Minister of State for Transport, Republic of Uganda and Chairperson of the Sectoral Council on Transport, Communications and Meteorology (TCM) Hon. Aggrey Henry Bagiire, pointed out the critical role that infrastructure plays in the development of Partner States. He recognized various infrastructure development initiatives that are being implemented across the region, including the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) development projects and acknowledged the commitment of Heads of States in infrastructure development.

Hon. Bagiire called for Partner States to put more efforts on among others, harmonization of policies, laws and regulation in supporting the coordination work of the Secretariat to sustain the pace of infrastructure development in the region.

On preparations for the 4th Heads of States Retreat, the Minister requested the Secretariat to promptly and properly involve the Ministers/Cabinet Secretaries.

In attendance were Ministers/Cabinet Secretary; Permanent/Principal Secretaries; and delegates from Partner States, EAC Organs and Institutions, and cooperating organizations.


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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 9001: 2008 Certified

Meeting of the Heads of Meteorological Services held in Arusha

East African Community Secretariat; Arusha, Tanzania; 27 June 2017:

A 3-day meeting of the  Heads of Meteorological Service  to spearhead the development of the Meteorological Sector in the region concluded at the EAC headquarters  in Arusha,Tanzania on 21st July 2017.

Addressing participants at the opening session, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Planning and Infrastructure Eng. Steven D.M Mlote, informed the meeting that the provision of accurate and timely weather and climate information provides useful inputs into sectors such as agriculture; livestock development and food security; road, air and maritime transport; building and construction industry; health and public safety; disaster management and water resources management among others.

He further informed the meeting that the ratification of the EAC Protocol on the Cooperation in Meteorological Services was one of the key priorities. The protocol, once fully implemented, will rekindle the glory of the East African Meteorological Services. He called upon Partner States to fast track the ratification process.

Eng. Mlote requested the Heads of the Meteorological Services to explore new avenues in the unexplored territories to make the sector more visible. Some of the new opportunities worthy exploring includes: Weather Services for the Road Transport to reduce road fatalities associated with bad weather; Weather Services to the Health Sector; Weather Services for the New Standard Railways; Weather Services to support the new digital television broadcasting services; and Development of an EAC weather forecasting platform.

In his remarks the Chairman Dr. Festis Luboyera, Executive Director of Uganda National Meteorological Authority informed generally the seasonal March to May season was well forecasted and in line with the forecast made by the National Meteorological Services. He encouraged partner states to work with development partners to stabilize food security.

Director of Infrastructure (DI) at the EAC Secretariat, Dr Kamugisha Kazaura promised that the EAC Secretariat will continue to support the Meteorological Services and explore avenues through which the EAC can facilitate in supporting acquiring capital equipment to improve service delivery.

Among the key output of the meeting was the formation of a taskforce to assess the optimum number of weather stations and location of Radar Stations to avoid duplication of efforts and save on costs of procurement of meteorological instruments and equipment.

The meeting was attended by Heads of the Meteorological Services, Representative of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Weather Information Service Africa (WISER), IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC) as well as  USAID PREPARED.


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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 9001: 2008 Certified

Assembly Nods Report on Rail Infrastructure

East African Legislative Assembly; Kigali, Rwanda; 10 March 2017:
The regional Assembly is recommending for the improvement of the extensive rail network and penetration in the region. With the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway underway, EALA wants the region to enhance information sharing on the upgrade of the rail network especially that concerning the timelines by Partner States given that the construction is at different levels. In the same regard, Partner States should continue with rehabilitation of the existing railway networks to complement the new ones.

A report of the Committee on Communication, Trade and Investments adopted by the House late yesterday afternoon recommends that Partner States should set aside annual budgets to sustainably fund the implementation of railway projects in the region.

The Committee further recommends that the East African Community should create an EAC infrastructure fund.

The report presented to the House by the Chair of the Committee on Communication, Trade and Investment, Hon. Fred Mukasa Mbidde, follows an oversight activity of the railway infrastructure in the Partner States undertaken on December 12th – 15th, 2016, in the Partner States.  The objectives of the workshop were to: understand the status of the Railways Master plan in the EAC; as well as that of EAC specific Partner States’ Railway Infrastructure development and thereafter come up with recommendations.

The Committee further reviewed the EAC Railways Master Plan identifying a number of issues including high cost of transport making products expensive and international trade uncompetitive.  At the same time, there are low freight volumes, reduced market share for railways.  The Committee takes note of a weak business regulatory environment in the transport and rail sub-sector.  It calls for strategic leadership and review of national policies and laws on the rail as well as enhanced public private partnerships.  The Committee further emphasises the need for development of excellence in railway capacity building, ICT and technology development.

According to the report, a feasibility study for the Isaka - Kigali / Keza - Musonagati Railway Project, was done in March 2009 including the Upgrade of the Dar es salaam - Isaka Railway Line and this would ideally serve the Republic of Burundi.

The preliminary field studies on the Dar es Salaam - Isaka line were also undertaken to determine the requirements for converting the existing meter gauge track to an AREMA-based (North American) standard gauge track and offered suggestions.

Kenya is implementing the railway infrastructure as per the EAC Railways Master Plan.  The country is constructing the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) projects for Vision 2030, and these include the Mombasa – Malaba route in phase one while phase two includes the Nairobi - Malaba sector.

The use of local content is pegged at 40% of the Civil Works contract with an amount of KShs 81 Billion spent to facilitate supply of cement, sand, aggregates, transport equipment, earthmovers, hygiene and food items, general purpose steels and timber. Similarly included are small contracts such as drainage works, slopes protection, labour contracts as well as clearing and forwarding. 

The report states that in order for SGR not to disrupt the operations of the National Park, a number of mitigations are in place.   The SGR according to the report crosses the park on a single line bridge spanning the total width of the Park (6.0 Km) and its average height starts at 8 metres at the entrance into the northern side of the Park and 41 metres at the exit on the southern end of the Park.

In Tanzania, the SGR will traverse the Northern and Tanga development corridor as well as the Southern/Mtwara development corridor.

In Uganda, the report alludes to the fast tracking of the development of Standard Gauge Railway in order to significantly contribute to transforming the country in to a middle- income status. It is envisaged that a total of 1,724Km will be constructed countywide in phases.

As provided for under Article 91 of the Treaty for the establishment of East African Community, the Partner States agreed to establish and maintain co-ordinated railway services that would efficiently connect the Partner states within the Community and, where necessary, to construct additional railway connections.

During debate, Hon. Ole Nkanae Saoli remarked that the modern train system was going to change the rail road sector in the Republic of Kenya.  “The plan is ahead of schedule by 4 months and this should see the launch done soon.  This is a positive move for the region”, Hon. Ole Nkanae said.

Hon. Susan Nakawuki on her part remarked that ‘good infrastructure was good’ for the region. She however said the cost of transportation was still high therefore hampering the costs of setting up of automotive industry.  She further lamented that the SGR should duly be a regional project and not purely undertaken on singular or bilateral basis.

Hon. Mumbi Ngaru called for strategic political leadership at the EAC saying it was necessary for the integration process to thrive. 

Hon. Makongoro Nyerere said it was necessary for the transport sector to target both cargo and passengers in order to be sustainable.  He hailed the EAC Heads of State for the initiatives taken to enhance the railway. “I congratulate President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and President John Pombe Magufuli for been steadfast in enhancing the rail network”, Hon. Nyerere said.

Hon. Valerie Nyirahabineza said the sub-optimal infrastructure in the region had led to increased cost of doing business and said the completion of the SGR would boost business. 

Others who supported the debate were Hon. Bernard Mulengani, Hon. Dr James Ndahiro, Hon. Mike Sebalu, Hon. Taslima Twaha and Hon. Dora Byamukama.

The 2nd Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for EAC Affairs, Rt Hon. Dr Kirunda Kivenjija representing the Chair of the Council of Ministers said complementarity was the way to go as opposed to competition among the Partner States to develop the region. 


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For more information, please contact:

Mr Bobi Odiko
Senior Public Relations Officer
East African Legislative Assembly
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255-27-2508240
Fax: +255-27-2503103
Cell: +255-787-870945, +254-733-718036
Email: BOdiko [at] eachq.org
Web: www.eala.org

About the East African Legislative Assembly:

The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is the Legislative Organ of the Community and has a cardinal function to further EAC objectives, through its Legislative, Representative and Oversight mandate. It was established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.


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