Uganda will host the 13th Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit scheduled to take place on April 22-23, 2016 in Kampala under the Chairmanship of H.E. President Yoweri Museveni.
The Summit will be preceded by a Ministerial meeting on April 21, 2016 and a Senior Officials’ meeting on April 19-20, 2016.
The countries that will participate are Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia. The Secretary-General of the East African Community and the Executive Secretary of the Northern Corridor Transit Transport Coordination authority will also attend as observers.
Private sector representatives from Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda will also participate.
The Northern Corridor is the transport corridor that links the EAC landlocked countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan with the Port of Mombasa, Kenya. The corridor also serves Northern Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia.
Under the NCIP framework, the Heads of State and Government continue to provide the political impetus necessary for the implementation of the projects in a faster and more efficient way.
The forthcoming meetings will review the status of implementation of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) since the last Summit held in December 2015 in Kigali, Rwanda.
These projects are in the areas of infrastructure development, energy, information technology and socio-economic development.
They include: Standard Gauge Railway; Information Communications Technology; Oil Refinery Development; Financing of the Projects; Political Federation; Power Generation, Transmission and Interconnectivity; Crude and refined Oil Pipelines Development.
Others are; Human Resource Capacity Building; Commodities Exchange; Lands; Immigration, Trade, Tourism, Labour and Services; Single Customs Territory; Mutual Defense, Mutual Peace and Security; and Airspace Management.
Significant progress continues to be made in the implementation of the projects.
Some of the highlights include:
Ongoing construction of the standard gauge railway which has reached 70% completion on the Mombasa-Nairobi sector; construction of Malaba-Kampala sector expected to begin in July 2016.
Issuing of a single visa for tourists to the East African Region covering Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, and use of National IDs to ease travel within the region.
Harmonization of cross-border ICT connectivity, legal and regulatory frameworks which has culminated into the establishment of One Network Area (ONA) for telephone/voice communication and sms. Work is in progress to add data and mobile financial services; all these have contributed to reducing the costs of doing business.
Establishment of a Single Customs Territory and One Stop Border Posts have enhanced elimination of most non-tariff Barriers hence reducing the cost of doing business.
The transit time for cargo from the Port of Mombasa to Kampala has reduced from 18 days to 4 days.
Business volumes have increased as well as earnings both for Revenue Authorities and private sector operators.
Upgrading of transmission lines to facilitate cross-border power export/sale to enable a Partner State with surplus power to sell to another with a deficit thereby contributing to stable power supply in the region and acceleration of industrialization.
Engagement of the private sector to participate in the projects including through public-private partnerships.
An Agreement on the Liberalisation of Free Movement of Labour and Services within the Corridor was signed and the implementation mechanisms are being put in place.
Establishment of Centres of Excellence through which selected universities and tertiary institutions will contribute towards developing the requisite human resource and capacity for the projects.