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Wednesday,September 23,2020 04:17 AM

EAC chief urges over poor roads

By Vision Reporter

Added 8th July 2010 03:00 AM

THE Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC) ambassador Juma Mwapachu has cautioned that trade facilitation which accounts for 60% of the costs of doing business in the region must be sorted out for the region to gain from the common market.

THE Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC) ambassador Juma Mwapachu has cautioned that trade facilitation which accounts for 60% of the costs of doing business in the region must be sorted out for the region to gain from the common market.

By David Mugabe

THE Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC) ambassador Juma Mwapachu has cautioned that trade facilitation which accounts for 60% of the costs of doing business in the region must be sorted out for the region to gain from the common market.

Receiving a delegation from the Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC), Mwapachu said in a statement that the common market protocol has a specific trade and development dimension which must be exploited.

But current cumbersome procedures and inadequacies of infrastructure along the trade facilitation chain would have to be squarely addressed in order to unlock the region’s full development and growth potential. Several studies have already revealed the extend and financial requirements of the huge rail, road and energy needs of the region. But questions remain on where the region will get the required funding.

Experts believe that if the region overcame its infrastructure challenges, EAC’s GDP could rise beyond the current $75b.

Mwapachu said globalisation has made it necessary for African countries to pursue regional integration to maximise the economies of scale and prudent utilisation of scarce resources.

With the coming online of the common market last week, EAC has moved another step towards full integration that is envisaged to end into a political union.

Mwapachu said EAC partner states will intensify cooperation in infrastructure and agriculture development and food security, regional industrialisation, and harmonisation of educational curricula , among other key projects and programmes, in order to realise a strong and truly regionally integrated economy and cohesive society.

He said under the common market implementation process, EAC is already taking measures to keep its borders opened and manned on 24-hour basis.

The EAC has identified the East African Railways Master Plan and the East African Road Network Project to extend comprehensive network of modern rail, roads, inland waterways and telecommunications systems that would effectively connect centres of production and markets throughout the EAC region and the neighbouring countries, in particular Southern Sudan, Ethiopia and the DR Congo.

EAC chief urges over poor roads

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