Kagame encourages EAC members on integration

Kagame encourages EAC members on integration

President Paul Kagame checks-in at Entebbe airport with his national ID

President Paul Kagame has said that the progress made on current joint projects in the East African Community is encouraging and there is need to keep a quick pace towards implementing the regional integration agenda.

“We have to maintain and even speed up the momentum to complete the agreed projects for the benefit our people” President Kagame said, during the 4th Summit of the northern corridor integration projects taking place in Entebbe on 20 February 2014.

Ahead of the meeting, President Paul Kagame made the first move to use the Rwandan national Identity Card (ID) as travel document for three regional countries- Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda.

Kagame used his ID at Kigali International airport, Thursday, morning and checked in through the immigration officers and was cleared for travel after filling in the immigration forms.

President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya also used his ID to travel Uganda, marking the launch of National IDs, voter/student cards as travel documents in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

President Yoweri Museveni congratulated his Rwandan and Kenyan counterparts for using their national ID cards to travel here for this summit.

At the 4th Summit, Kagame told delegates that the meeting is an important illustration of the commitment to goals set last year to work together to advance the region.

The five regional countries today signed the Defence, Peace & Security Pacts, of which Kagame said that it is significant to safeguard regional stability and fight cross-border crime.

The EAC community also signed the single tourist visa agreement, of which Rwanda was hailed for spearheading its implementation.

At the inaugural Infrastructure Summit in Entebbe, Uganda in June 2013, leaders of Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda agreed to divide responsibilities: Uganda committed to lead the railway development and political federation sector; Rwanda on customs, single tourists and East African Community e-identity card; while Kenya took on the implementation of the oil pipeline and electricity generation.

The following summit was held in Mombasa, Kenya where the Heads of States attended the commissioning of Berth 19, a project anticipated to increase capacity of the Kenyan port to serve the entire region.

The 3rd Summit was held in Kigali on 20 October last year where Heads of State welcomed South Sudan to the initiative and launched the single customs territory.

With the establishment of a digital border post allowing electronic clearance, members of East African Community now spend 5 days instead of 18 days moving goods along the corridor from Mombasa to Kampala and 8 days instead of 21 days from Mombasa to Kigali.

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Olive Ndaka is the Junior Editor for RwandaEye. An investor and young entrepreneur, she is a quick learner and has contributed many articles for RwandaEye in Kinyarwanda.

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