Arusha marks EAC Day in style

THE East African Community (EAC) marked its day midweek with a series of activities including cleaning up of the Kilombero bus terminus.

Led by the EAC Secretary General, Peter Mathuki, the Secretariat’s staff would later donate maternity delivery kits to the Levolosi Health Centre, a public health facility that neighbours the bustling Kilombero Municipal Market and has a maternity wing.

Each of the maternity delivery kits, which consists of, among other things, cotton wool, mackintosh sheet, surgical gloves, syringes and baby cloth is meant to enhance safe delivery and maternal health.

Speaking at the event, Dr Mathuki, said that the main aspiration of the Community was creating markets for its business people and producing a surplus for export.

The EAC Secretary General equally urged Partner States and other stakeholders to mount activities each year to commemorate EAC Day, adding that this would enhance a sense of integration among EAC Citizens.

According to Dr Mathuki, infrastructure development and strengthening of financial markets was meant to promote intra-regional trade and investment, adding that intra-regional trade has increased significantly especially over the past one and half years.

“Tanzania has surpassed Kenya in terms of exports and has also increased its exports to Uganda. Tanzania exported goods worth 510 million US dollars to Kenya and imported 450 million US dollars from Kenya,” said Dr Mathuki, noting that opening up of Partner States borders had witnessed increased trade volumes.

Last Wednesday, the Arusha based Secretariat turned 23 since the signing of the treaty of its establishment.

Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community was signed in Arusha on November 30, 1999, under the gaze of former Tanzania President Benjamin William Mkapa, Kenya’s Daniel Arap Moi and Yoweri Museveni from Uganda, at the Sheikh Amri Abeid Memorial Stadium.

The document would in July 7, 2000 enter into force following the conclusion of the process of its ratification and deposit of the Instruments of Ratification with the Secretary-General by all the three Partner States, namely Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

The regional economic community is now home to around 300 million East Africans, following the Democratic Republic of Congo introduction to the bloc.

It also boasts of a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 150bn/- after the former’s entry.

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