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EAC
East African Community





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Member states
Burundi - Kenya - Rwanda - Tanzania - Uganda






 

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South East Nine
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Tanzania to open up capital markets to east African investors
Business Recorder
17 November 2013

Tanzania will open its capital markets to east African investors next month as part of reforms aimed at fully relaxing government controls in the economy by 2015, a senior central bank official said on Tuesday.

Joseph Massawe, director of economic research and policy at the Bank of Tanzania, said the opening of Tanzania's tightly controlled capital account would result in significant capital flows into the country.

"We plan to liberalise the capital account by removing restrictions to free flow of capital within east Africa by December this year," he told Reuters in an interview. "By 2015, we expect to remove almost all restrictions on the capital account for investors even from beyond east Africa. We are now making amendments to our financial regulations to ease those restrictions."

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EAC Sectoral Council on Legal and Judicial Affairs Okays Monetary Union Protocol
East African Community
18 November 2013

EAC Headquarters Arusha, Tanzania, 15 November, 2013: The 15th Meeting of the EAC Sectoral Council on Legal and Judicial Affairs concluded today in Arusha, Tanzania with the Council clearing the legal content of the draft Protocol for the establishment of the East African Monetary Union.

The Sectoral Council adopted the draft Protocol as it meets the requirements of the Treaty and recommended to the Summit to approve and sign the Protocol on 30th November 2013

The Attorneys General, Solicitors General as well as Ministers responsible for judicial and constitutional affairs directed the Secretariat to make a compilation of all documentation used in the negotiations of the draft Protocol to be used as working documents in drafting the legal instrument establishing the institutions to support the Monetary Union.

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East Africa: Single EA Passport Ready By 2015
Tanzania Daily News
2 December 2013

Effective 2015, citizens of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda will be travelling using the new generation East African Passport, a modern regional travelling document likely to replace their national ones.

A communiqué from the Heads of State Summit, taking place in Uganda, which was made available here via the Arusha-based East African Community (EAC) Secretariat, quoted the five presidents agreeing to launch the new passport by November 2015.

The communiqué was signed by presidents Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi at the weekend in Kampala.

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Tanzania, Burundi to join single customs territory
The Star
28 January 2014

Efforts to have a complete single customs territory within the East Africa Community will be complete in June when Tanzania and Burundi implement the programme.

Kenya Revenue Authority commissioner general John Njiraini said yesterday that the full implementation of the EAC customs union will be realised with the roll out of the second phase of the single customs territory in Tanzania and Burundi in June.

Njiraini was speaking yesterday during the international customs day celebrations at KRA offices in Nairobi. The single customs territory will ensure clearance of goods at the first point of entry within East Africa and cut of time and resources used by various governments to collect customs tax at various borders.
 

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EAC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement Negotiations Held in Brussels
East African Community
30 January 2014


East African Community Secretariat, Arusha: Ministers from East Africa Community (EAC) Partner States and the European Commissioner for Trade met in Brussels on 30th January 2014 to conclude three days of negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

The ministerial meeting considered outstanding issues in the EAC-EU EPA negotiations as discussed by the EAC-EU technical and Senior Officials from 28th to 30th January 2014. Both Parties noted that further discussions on Rules of Origin and Agriculture need to be held at the Technical and Senior Officials level to iron out the outstanding issues.

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Technical Officials Discuss EAC-USA Trade and Investment Partnership
East African Community
17 February 2014


East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania: Technical Officials from the East African Community (EAC) and the United States (U.S.) met 12 to 15 February 2014 in Bujumbura, Burundi to discuss Trade Africa and the EAC – U.S. Trade and Investment Partnership (TIP). In particular, the Technical Officials discussed among others, the Ministerial guidance provided in August 2013; AGOA; Regional Investment Treaty; Trade Facilitation; Trade Capacity Building, and Commercial Dialogue.

Both Parties reviewed a summary of the last EAC – U.S. Trade Ministerial Meeting held on the sidelines of the August 2013 AGOA Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Both Parties also discussed the need to make substantial progress on all areas of Trade Africa and the Trade and Investment Partnership in advance of the first U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC on August 5 and 6, 2014. The U.S. and EAC teams agreed to work as expeditiously as possible to create concrete actions and outcomes in all areas under discussion by the time of the Leaders’ Summit.

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East African Community harmonize Medical Standards
Zegabi
21 March 2014

The East African Community has initiated a multi-million Shillings project aimed at harmonizing medicine registration and ensuring access to effective and safe cures for the most prevalent illnesses in the region.

The three-year Medicines Registration Harmonization Project comes following about two days (17-18 March) of consultation between medical representatives from East African countries in Arusha, Tanzania.

Reports indicate that the meeting was aimed at validating technical documents the National Medicines Regulatory Authorities (NMRAs) of member states’ would use for the synchronized medicines regulation plan.

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Political Federation is coming, EAC boss discloses
Office of the President of Kenya
23 March 2014

The East Africa Political Federation will be implemented after the customs union and monetary union, Deputy Secretary for political federation in EAC Mr. Charles Njoroge has said.

Saying that African unity was a seed planted by our forefathers, Mr. Njoroge said: “Our hope is, East Africa will be the first block in Africa to form a political federation. A political federation must be acceptable to all citizens and it must assure them that property and investments are protected”.

Mr. Njoroge who was speaking to the Presidential Strategic Communication Unit team at the EAC headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania, on the eve of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s two day visit, said the residents of East Africa member states have to hold discussions and agree on the political model they need to adopt.

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East African film body created to drive development in the region
Screen Africa
25 March 2014

First Preparatory Forum of East African Film Festivals and Film Producers took place from 12 to 14 March in Tanzania.

The aim of the forum was to form a body of film industry professionals and government officials responsible for promoting film festivals and enhancing film distribution in the region.

The organisation has since been established as the East African Film Network (EAFN) with interim leaders: Professor Martin Mhando, Festival Director of the Zanzibar International Film Festival who will serve as Vice President; Feisal Malik, Director of Visual Africa Productions who will serve as Secretary General; and James Owaranga, a specialist in film, video and cinematography, who will serve as the Treasurer.

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EALA supports standard gauge railway project
Standard Media
26 March 2014

East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) Speaker Dr Margaret Nantongo Zziwa has said the Assembly supports the building of the standard gauge railway from Mombasa to Kigali. She said the railway would be a lifeline for the East African Community (EAC).

She asked those who have reservations to understand that the railway would bring immense benefits not just to Kenya, but the whole region.

The Speaker congratulated President Kenyatta on his elevation as chair of the Summit, and thanked him for facilitating a recent tour of EALA members in Kenya.

Dr Zziwa lauded decongestion of Mombasa Port and President Kenyatta’s directive that Uganda and Rwanda revenue authorities clear cargo destined for their countries. She added they were also delighted that the construction of berth 19 at the port was progressing well.

The speaker said the northern corridor (Mombasa to Malaba and onward to Kigali) is now facilitating easier movement of people and goods. She said the Common Market and Monetary Union protocols are clear landmarks of the EAC, and asked member states to do their part in moving them forward.
 

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East African Community – an investor magnet
Financial Times
April 2014

With five countries, 145m people and an annual GDP of US$110bn, the East African Community (EAC) makes a tidy bloc. And while the newsflow surrounding better-known African investor narratives – such as those in South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana – has turned cautious, there is mounting optimism when it comes to the EAC.

The EAC – which embraces Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi – has been pushing physical integration through investment in infrastructure and making progress on reforms to legal and institutional frameworks to improve the business environment.

Both endeavours should help cut the costs and risks involved in doing business in the region, fostering entrepreneurship and drawing investment from abroad. Singularly, Kenya stands to gain the most from this interconnection, but as the nations of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi become increasingly intertwined, investors will be unable to ignore this new emerging market.

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Uganda to waive work permit fees for EAC citizens
New Times
1 April 2014

Business operators and employees from East African countries will be able to work in Uganda without paying the work permit fees, an official has said.

Godfrey Sasagah Wanzira, the director for immigration said the move aims at promoting free movement of labour and investments in Uganda with the East African Community partner states.

The official, who spoke to The New Times last week in Kigali, said efforts were being made to amend the laws to allow the scrapping of fees.

“Our solicitor general is working on the ways of amending the laws to allow waiving of work permit fees to all East African countries including Tanzania and Burundi,” Wanzira said.

The scrapping of work permit fees was first done between Rwanda and Kenya bilaterally, before Kigali later extended it to citizens from the other partner states.

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EAIXP to help keep region's internet traffic local
CIO Kenya
8 April 2014

The East African Community members have come together to implement the East Africa Internet Exchange Point (EAIXP), an initiative of the East African Communications Organisation (EACO) which seeks to interconnect the EAC countries through Internet links with the aim of helping to keep the region's internet traffic local or within the region.

As a result, the EACO Working Group 5 on IP networks which is visiting member countries in East Africa to discuss the EAIX project, held its first discussion in Kenya in a workshop hosted by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) where the member states reviewed various action areas that will enable implementation of the regional internet exchange.

In his opening remarks, Mr Francis Wangusi Director General, CAK, said, ”The EAIXP will serve as a centralized clearing house for various entities by facilitating direct connections with various IXPs within the East African Community member states.”

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National currencies to be used across EA borders
Arusha Times
9 April 2014

Residents of Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania will soon be able to travel with, and use own national currencies in other countries within East Africa as well as making digital cross-border cash transactions in real time.

The new development comes through the recently launched East African Community Project on Payment and Settlement Systems Integration aimed at introducing seamless pay system which will gradually bridge member states’ transaction gaps towards the proposed East African Monetary Union.

PSSIP connects the five Central Banks in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi through special technological networking based on the digital fibre-optic backbone to allow seamless and real time transactions.

“This system enhances cross-border payments systems across the EAC region and enables the public to pay as well as receive payments on real time basis and in local currencies,” stated Prof Njuguna Ndung’u the Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya during the EAC-PSSIP launch at the EAC headquarters in Arusha recently.

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East African Community Moves To Harmonise IP Rights Regulation
Intellectual Property Watch
11 April 2014

As the East African Community nears full revival, a bloc market covering five countries with a population of about 145 million people has emerged. But the member countries face another challenge: they have different levels of intellectual property rights protection.

The task before them is how to align existing different national laws and policies on intellectual property rights protection to cater to a new regional framework. Intellectual property laws in EAC, like most other laws, are a colonial heritage.

One of the tools prominently guiding this regulatory process is the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), introduced by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1994.

The TRIPS agreement introduces global minimum standards for protecting and enforcing nearly all forms of IP rights, including those for patents. Pharmaceutical and health products and processes are protected by patents.

The EAC is strategising to implement the TRIPS treaty by setting up a joint structure. The initiative started eight years ago, and the results are packaged in a regional framework titled as “The Regional Intellectual Property Policy on the Utilisation of Public Health Related WTO-Trips Flexibilities and the Approximation of National Intellectual Property Legislation.”

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Tanzania complies with EAC rules, to open up capital account in 2015
The East African
19 April 2014

Tanzania is to liberalise its capital account by the end of next year in a move that is expected to raise the country’s appeal among international investors.

The country says it is amending laws that cap foreign ownership of stocks and bonds in line with East African Community requirements to allow free movement of capital.

The change of heart is also seen as part of a larger plan by Tanzania to tap foreign investors for the cash for infrastructure projects.

In an interview last week, President Jakaya Kikwete told the Bloomberg news agency that his government was reviewing the laws and the process was expected to be completed by the end of next year.

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East African Community Secretariat unveils digital resource centre
The Standard
29 April 2014

The East African Community (EAC) Secretariat has set up an information resource centre to ease dissemination of information on the regional integration process.

Phyllis Kandie, the chairperson of the EAC council of ministers and cabinet secretary for East African affairs, commerce and tourism, officially launched the centre.

Kandie lauded the Secretariat for achieving the great milestone and emphasised the critical role of the Resource Centre in sensitising the citizens of East Africa.

“Utilisation of information and research data should be used not only to fuel growth and development within the region, but also to spark interest in the EAC integration agenda especially among the youth,” she noted.

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