By David Lumu
KAMPALA - The permanent secretaries of ministries and technical teams from Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya Tuesday finalized reports on regional security cooperation, infrastructure development and the political federation.
Ministry of foreign affairs spokesman Fred Opolot said the reports will be presented to foreign ministers from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and South Sudan during a ministerial summit on Wednesday at Speke Resort Hotel, Munyonyo.
Opolot told New Vision the ministers will analyze the reports and then present them to the presidents at the 4th summit on the Northern Corridor Integration Projects on Thursday.
The Northern Corridor serves Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, South Sudan and eastern DR Congo.
New Vision has learnt that the presidents of the east African region would sign the peace and security protocol, which would give birth to a standing EAC force to enhance the joint monitoring of regional peace and security.
“Yes, the leaders are expected to sign the peace and security pact, but that is not the only thing. The leaders are also expected to discuss the progress on the fast-tracking of the political federation and also focus on how to develop the infrastructure in the region,” he said.
Last month, Cabinet ratified the East African Community Peace and Security Protocol, which government says would boost cross-boundary security, bolster stability and plug terrorism gaps.
Opolot said each country was given responsibilities during the Kigali summit in November last year and that each nation has finished reports on the key areas that they had to tackle.
He said on its part, Uganda had finalized reports on the political federation, oil refinery development and information technology.
Kenya, on the other hand, worked on the energy generation within the region, oil pipeline construction, skilling the human resource of the region and commodity exchange between member states.
Rwanda dealt with the security cooperation and the implantation of the single customs territory, East African tourism visa and use of ID\Voter\Student ID card as travel document.
Opolot said regional presidents would agree on how to integrate the reports into the wider goal of fast-tracking the East African federation and that this time round, Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan presidents would attend.
“All leaders – including those of Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan – are going to be here in Kampala. South Sudan has applied to be a member of the EAC bloc and it is important that they are on board when these processes are being crafted.”