President Yoweri Museveni has said the integration of the East African countries is a matter of life and death.
The president made the revelation during the 17th Extraordinary East African Community (EAC) Heads of State Summit held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania this week.
Among the key resolutions of the meeting; a three month detailed study of the European Union_EAC Economic Partnership Agreement prior to a conclusive position in January 2017; the summit evaluated facilitator Benjamin Mkapa’s report on Burundi dialogue – to which effect Council of Ministers were tasked to draft a logistical budget that will expedite the peace process, at the next convene.
Heads of State convened and congratulated Republic of South Sudan upon its full integration into the East African Community after depositing instruments of ratification at the secretariat.
During the summit, President Museveni reiterated the importance of integration, pointing out that “it is a matter of life and death to the region”.
“In 1978 when China opened up, it was less developed than several African countries that were opening up at the same time. However since then, China has attracted $2.6 trillion worth of investment while Africa has attracted only $650 billion,” Museveni said.
He continued: “Difference? It’s because China is one market while Africa is 53 fragmented markets. Integration, therefore, is a matter of life and death to us.”
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 Community also has eight institutions, three of which became operational in July 2015.