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Old January 9th, 2015, 06:40 PM   #121
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Rwanda first to ratify joint EAC defence pact
The East African
3 January 2015


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Rwanda has become the first member of the EAC to ratify the East African Community Mutual Defence Pact for regional co-operation.

President Paul Kagame has assented to the protocol, and the instruments of ratification to be exchanged with partner states have already been issued.

Meanwhile, Kenya is waiting for the protocol to be presented to parliament; in Uganda, the Cabinet has already approved the protocol and submitted it to parliament for ratification.

The pact, agreed to by Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, aims to lay the foundation for EAC states to play a bigger role in fighting trans-national crime. The three countries have also committed troops to the East Africa Standby Force, which is backed by the United Nations.
Once adopted, the pact will allow armed forces from member countries to conduct joint military operations when combating terrorism and other international crimes.

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Old January 9th, 2015, 06:42 PM   #122
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Ugandan Parliament okays motion on regional single currency
Pesa Times
6 January 2015


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Uganda's Parliament, in December, passed a motion approving the establishment of the East African Monetary Union, which will see Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi adopting a single common currency.

Uganda’s Minister of State for Finance, Matia Kasaija, said the monetary union is intended to promote and maintain monetary and financial stability aimed at facilitating economic integration to attain sustainable growth and development of the East African Community.

“The East African Community summit shall pronounce the formation and commencement of the single currency area and will determine the name of the currency, which shall be the legal tender of the area,” Kasaija said.

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Old January 9th, 2015, 06:45 PM   #123
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AfDB lauds East African Community on integration
People Daily
8 January 2015


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The East African Community (EAC) is doing particularly well among African regional blocs seeking integration, according to the latest report from the African Development Bank (AfDB) covering the year 2014.

For instance, the EAC, alongside the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), has made the most notable progress towards the free movement of persons. This is despite the fact that member countries are yet to harmonise their procedures for movement of workers to conform to the requirements of the East African Common Market Protocol.

The report says the absence of migration regimes that support regional integration has left Africa with some of the world’s most onerous visa restrictions, especially for people wishing to enter another African country.

“All regions except East Africa have visa requirements above the world average; indeed, North Americans and Europeans face fewer visa requirements to enter African countries than Africans do,” the report says.
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Old January 17th, 2015, 02:42 PM   #124
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East African Community to create "single tourist area" – official
Star Africa
13 January 2015


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The East African Community (EAC), which comprises Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda, intends to become “a single tourist area” under its vast regional integration project, APA learns here on Tuesday.

"We want to make the East African Community a single tourist area with a single tourist visa", EAC Secretary General, Richard Sezibera said during a press conference held at the organization’s headquarters in Arusha, northern Tanzania.

The use of the single tourist visa has been in force since last year for Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya which are determined to move faster than the other two members on the path of economic integration.

"Tanzania has announced that it wants to join the single tourist visa. This is very important. Burundi has also expressed interest in joining the system", Mr. Sezibera said.

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Old January 17th, 2015, 02:46 PM   #125
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East Africa to Unveil New Machine Readable Passports
Tanzania Daily News
15 January 2015


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New machine readable East African Passports that will also allow holders to travel around the world, will be unveiled next November and start to be issued to citizens of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi shortly after.

The new state-of-the-art electronic EA travel documents are to be officially launched by the five Heads of State during their forthcoming summit in Arusha on 30, November 2015, according to the Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC), Dr Richard Sezibera.

The now fully upgraded new EAC passports have been made to fully comply with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards, which means they can easily replace national passports among the residents of the five East African countries.

The ICAO standardises and publishes Doc 9303, Machine Readable Travel Documents, which form the basis for the technical standard for machine-readable passports worldwide.

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Old January 17th, 2015, 02:49 PM   #126
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East Africa’s One Network Area Is Picking Up Steam
Ventures Africa
16 January 2015


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As part of ongoing regional integration efforts, the East African Community (EAC), last year, agreed to harmonize telecommunications services within the region such that all calls between member countries will be billed as though they were local calls, this was received with excitement among the member nations. Implementation of the initiative dubbed the “One Network Area” was slated to begin on Monday, 1st September, 2014.

As implementation continues, Safaricom has made moves to discount roaming rates for roaming calls made in Uganda following the adoption of the One Network Area initiative by the country. Recently, the telco operator had also cut roaming rates for its subscribers in 21 countries.

Because of this, Safaricom subscribers will receive calls for free while roaming in Uganda, they will also enjoy a flat rate of Kshs 10 ($0.11) for calls between Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, a 95 percent reduction from the former rate of Kshs 215 ($2.35) a minute.

“This is a significant step towards the greater East Africa integration. A reduction of this kind will boost trade opportunities between these two key East African nations. We remain committed to identifying more opportunities to lower roaming rates for more countries in the region,” commented Bob Collymore, Safaricom’s CEO.

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Old January 25th, 2015, 09:04 PM   #127
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Indians told to wake up to EAC
East African Businessweek
18 January 2015


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The realisation of a large regional economic bloc with a combined population of more than 141.1 million people, land area of 1.82 million square kilometres and a combined Gross Domestic Product of $99.8 billion, bears great strategic and geopolitical significance and prospects of a renewed and reinvigorated East African Community (EAC).

The EAC aims at deepening economic, social and political integration and enhance the region’s competitiveness through enhanced value chain, trade and investments. To achieve such goals, the EAC countries established a Customs Union in 2005 and a Common Market in 2010 which provides “four Freedoms” namely, free movement of goods, labour, services and capital, to significantly boost trade and investments and make the region more productive and prosperous.

EAC Partner States also qualify for duty-free access to the US market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), as well as European Union (EU), and the Common market of Eastern & Southern Africa (COMESA).

Reforms and a growing participation in global trade has helped the EAC region to grow. It has been the second fastest growing economic bloc in the world in recent years with an average growth of 5.8% in 2012 (behind ASEAN at 6.1%) which is the best rate of growth in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.

Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda showed a robust annual growth of over 7% from 2002 to 2012, and the total FDI inflow in the EAC region has almost tripled from $1.3 billion in 2005 to $3.8 billion in 2012.

All countries in the EAC region have recognised the private sector as an essential growth engine for economic and social development and have introduced favourable policies to attract domestic and foreign investment. Governments are encouraging investment by providing fiscal incentives, establishing Export Processing Zones (EPZs) and industrial parks, setting up exports and investment promotion agencies (IPAs), and doing outreach activities.

The EAC region is projected to continue showing a strong macro-economic performance in coming years. According to the World Bank, Rwanda’s economy is projected to grow by 7.5% in 2015, Tanzania 6.8%, Uganda 6.2%, Kenya 4.9% and Burundi by 4.3%.

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Old January 25th, 2015, 09:06 PM   #128
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Kenya to host EAC-US Summit in September
Citizen TV | 21 January 2015




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Old January 25th, 2015, 09:09 PM   #129
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EAC Cooperative Societies Bill Sails through Second Reading
East African Community
23 January 2015


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The regional Assembly is on the verge of enacting the EAC Cooperative Societies Bill, 2014. EALA Members late yesterday extensively debated the Bill, before passing it through its second reading.

The debate which resumed following interruption on October 28, 2014, was preceded by the presentation of the Report of the Committee on Agriculture, Tourism and Natural Resources (ATNR) by the new Chairperson, Hon Abdulkarim Harelimana.

The Report followed the Public hearings which took place on September 12th – 22nd, 2014 in the EAC Partner States and that involved technical presentations and national stakeholder consultations. Participants at the public hearings included various co-operative organisations from different sectors including representatives from co-operative organisations who made significant contributions.

The Report observes that there is need to have a regional bill to promote the integration of co-operatives in the region. The Members proposed a raft of changes on the Bill right from the formation and registration of Societies, democratic member control, concern for the community in general, autonomy and independence all considered and deemed to be key to the existence of the Bill.

The Report notes that there is need to have specific clauses that allow for the co-operatives to promote and benefit the regional integration agenda. According to information obtained from public hearings, a Bill of this nature would go the mile in enabling regional responses to challenges facing the sector.

The Bill is based on the understanding that each Partner State shall undertake to encourage the efficient use of resources and to promote the development of private sector organisations which are engaged in all types of economic activities, such as the chambers of commerce and industry, confederations and associations of industry, agriculture among others. At national level, co-operators bear the primary responsibility to develop themselves but it is worth mentioning that regional and international support and cooperation may be needed to supplement domestic efforts. During debate, Hon Nancy Abisai noted that the Bill was holistic as it cuts across the needs of all sectors.

“The idea of pulling together of resources through cooperatives has seen many, especially women fundamentally progress and develop. People within co-operatives are today able to borrow funds based on low interest rates and this is very key,” Hon Abisai said.

Hon Leonce Ndarubagiye termed co-operatives as ideal stating they were the hallmark in communist and capitalist countries alike. The legislator remarked that many successful stories had been realized through creation of co-operatives and said a regional bill regulating cooperative societies was timely.

Hon Patricia Hajabakiga noted that the Bill was at the very core of every co-operative society since it enhances development and added that it touches on the interests and pockets of beneficiaries.

She hailed the mover of the Bill, Hon Mike Sebalu for his commitment and appreciated the role of Hon Isabelle Ndahayo, the Chair Emeritus of the ATNR Committee, which was associated with the Bill.

Hon Saoli Ole Nkanae said co-operatives were key in integration. “We need to move with haste to pass this key Bill” he remarked.
Hon Nusura Tiperu said the passage of the Bill would positively impact on the local citizens. “It is a key piece of legislation that is in partial fulfilment of Article 105 and 128 of the Treaty for the EAC”, she said.

Hon Maryam Ussi, Hon AbuBakr Zein, Hon Peter Mathuki, Hon Celestine Kabahizi, and Hon Dr. James Ndahiro all supported the Motion. On his part, the Counsel to the Community, Hon Wilbert Kaahwa said the Bill in its various clauses met the values and ethos of co-operative principles. The Bill, Hon Kaahwa also added, is in tandem with the legislation on co-operatives in the Partner States.

The Council of Ministers through the Chair, Hon Dr. Abdallah Saadala was emphatic that common consensus had been arrived at in their deliberations with the ATNR Committee.

The mover of the Bill, Hon Mike Sebalu termed the Bill demand driven and one that is a tool of transformation and empowerment for primary producers.

Next week, the Assembly is expected to re-constitute itself into a Committee of the whole House to scrutinise through the Bill clause by clause.

Meanwhile, the Assembly has granted Hon Christophe Bazivamo leave to introduce a Private Member’s Bill entitled “The East African Community Forest Management and Protection Bill”. This is pursuant to the provisions of Article 59(1) of the Treaty and Rule 64 of the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly.
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Old January 25th, 2015, 09:11 PM   #130
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East African Voices: Future of East Africa
NTV Kenya | 23 January 2015



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Old January 25th, 2015, 10:24 PM   #131
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Basically guaranteed now that East Africa will be the fastest growing region in Africa till 2020 at least. Hopefully the big 3 follow Rwanda's lead in improving competitiveness.
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Old January 25th, 2015, 11:21 PM   #132
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Im very excited about the EAC.

If we get the EAC growing fast, Nigeria, Ethi is already doing it. Then the knock on effect will be huge.

The icing on the cake would be DRC.
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Old January 26th, 2015, 06:52 PM   #133
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Talks on the admission of South Sudan into the East African Community are set to take centre stage at the EAC Heads of State Summit scheduled for February 20 in Nairobi. Also top on the agenda is the verification of an application by the war-torn Federal Republic of Somalia to join the five-member regional economic bloc.
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The EAC members rejected South Sudan’s bid in December 2012 because of its periodic conflict with neighbouring Sudan. The lack of a democratic culture that has seen the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement ( SPLM) run roughshod over other political parties, could also have dented the young nation’s chance.
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Somalia’s ambassador to Kenya, Mohamed Ali Noor exuded confidence that the country was considered a prime candidate to the EAC following a raft of key initiatives that he believes have lifted the country’s profile in the eyes of the international community. “We believe that it is now time to join the EAC. Since that Igad meeting, peace is coming back to Somalia and there is prosperity and construction,” he said.
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Old January 26th, 2015, 06:55 PM   #134
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Are there some conditions to join EAC? Surely you need a functioning government, democratic elections etc.?
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Old January 26th, 2015, 07:44 PM   #135
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Are there some conditions to join EAC? Surely you need a functioning government, democratic elections etc.?
There are conditions. South Sudan was the more promising candidate but the war has changed all that. I would estimate Somalia is at least a decade or two away from being considered for admission. Cant see Somalia joining before Al Shabaab is history.
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Old January 27th, 2015, 04:53 AM   #136
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South Sudan should join the EAC...this would make us (coalition of willing) be more straight forward with them...

As of Somalia....no

Until they are capable of holding themselves down, in they mean time they can wait.

but we can give them privileges that will have them be very close to COW
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Old January 27th, 2015, 08:07 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by Combobulate View Post
Both countries should join, especially now that the armies of Burundi, Kenya and Uganda are in Somalia. and the Ugandan army is in South Sudan.

Nobody realises it but Somalia is actually a good candidate. Somalia is actually a parliamentary democracy, and is more of a democracy than a lot of countries in Africa. Somalia has a larger coastline than any country in Africa. A large coastline, if well explored means good access to international markets. Turkey and Gulf countries will soon be pouring a lot more FDI in Somalia. Somaliland is actually very stable, so only southern Somalia remains to be stabilised.

The Al-Shabaab element has been weakened and so they've resorted to attacking remote towns and malls. The attacks from Al-Shabaab have actually forced security agencies in the EAC to modernise.

The EAC should assign Somalia special status, let them have the joint market policies of the EAC member states, but that immigration using IDs should be given a 10 year period.

As for South Sudan the peace deal has stopped the fighting so they should be allowed to join.
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Old January 27th, 2015, 05:52 PM   #138
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Both countries should join, especially now that the armies of Burundi, Kenya and Uganda are in Somalia. and the Ugandan army is in South Sudan.

Nobody realises it but Somalia is actually a good candidate. Somalia is actually a parliamentary democracy, and is more of a democracy than a lot of countries in Africa. Somalia has a larger coastline than any country in Africa. A large coastline, if well explored means good access to international markets. Turkey and Gulf countries will soon be pouring a lot more FDI in Somalia. Somaliland is actually very stable, so only southern Somalia remains to be stabilised.

The Al-Shabaab element has been weakened and so they've resorted to attacking remote towns and malls. The attacks from Al-Shabaab have actually forced security agencies in the EAC to modernise.

The EAC should assign Somalia special status, let them have the joint market policies of the EAC member states, but that immigration using IDs should be given a 10 year period.

As for South Sudan the peace deal has stopped the fighting so they should be allowed to join.
I concur with

Once lasting stability is evident, Somali will provide a wide range of opportunities for regional investors.
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Old January 28th, 2015, 06:37 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by cityboy20 View Post
South Sudan should join the EAC...this would make us (coalition of willing) be more straight forward with them...

As of Somalia....no

Until they are capable of holding themselves down, in they mean time they can wait.

but we can give them privileges that will have them be very close to COW
I prefer somali over south sudan because their police force is actually working , unlike the greedy south sudanese leaders who only care about power
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Old January 28th, 2015, 06:02 PM   #140
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they can trade with the bloc on special terms. they could also join the east africa military unit, one call network etc etc etc......but there should be no free movement of people yet otherwise we could find al-shabaab setting up training camps in garissa and/or riek machar running a civil war from northern uganda.

in other words.....there are some things the EAC block can work with them without allowing them to fully join the bloc and in a progressive manner.....the more they get their houses in order the more the block should open more areas of cooperation with Somalia and south sudan
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