President Museveni Hits at Foreign Powers against EAC Integration

2182 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
President Yoweri Museveni has cited contempt and danger as the major obstacles to the immediate integration of the East African Community.

President Yoweri Museveni has cited contempt and danger as the major obstacles to the immediate integration of the East African Community.
 
The former chairperson of the East African Community notes that since its revival in 1999 they have made progress by signing the protocols of a common market and the customs union.
 
However, even though they are to sign the monetary union, the only weakness is in implementation.  He cites the issue of the non-tariff barrier which has however been eased by the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta by reduction of days for goods to move from Mombasa to Kampala from 18 days to three days.
 
From Mombasa to Kigali the days have been reduced from 24 to four days.
 
The East African Cooperation treaty provides for ultimately attaining a political Federation for East Africa. In 2004 after a retreat in Nairobi, heads of state including former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania committed themselves to an East African Integration.
 
This led to the formation of the Amos Wako committee that was tasked to carry out consultations through the five east African countries which produced support for a political federation and its fast tracking except for Tanzania where there was less support for fast tracking but overwhelming support for federation.
 
The matter was again discussed in the last meeting in Nairobi, but President Museveni says it has increased awareness in Africa and East Africa. These factors include contempt for Africa and danger to the sovereignty of the African countries that was especially exhibited in the recent attack on Libya by external powers who could not allow African leaders to land in Libya.
 
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President Museveni adds that there is now heightened awareness among freedom fighters to ensure the danger and contempt are responded to strategically.
 
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According to President Museveni the economies of East African are growing robustly with an average growth rate of six percent and what was lacking was to apply the appropriate stimuli to the economies to allow for a bigger market. In order to grow bigger the EA countries need entrepreneurs, consumers for the market, proper infrastructure, strategic security to guarantee one’s interest locally and globally and credible ability to bargain for balanced reciprocal rights with other actors.
 
Quoting William Shakespeare, stating that there is a tide in the affairs of men which taken on at the front leads on to fortune, omitted all the voyage of their lives is bound in shallows and misery on such a full sea are we now afloat and we must take the current  when it swerves or lose our ventures. He states that East Africa is at such a tide and they should not lose it.
 
He notes that if only former leaders had attained the East African Federation, then a lot of destruction could have been avoided such as Idi Amin Dada being the leader of Uganda. These also include the genocides in Rwanda and Burundi, the Post-election violence in Kenya, problems in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
 
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The meeting is being attended by all the five heads of state President Yoweri Museveni, Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi, and new chairman of the EAC  Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya.