THE Germany government and East Africa Community Secretariat (EAC) recently concluded negotiations in Arusha, where the former committed 42.9 million Euros towards the regional and social integration.
The negotiations led by the EAC Secretariat Secretary General Ambassador Libérat Mfumukeko, and East Africa Division at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Head, Marcus von Essen, who participated virtually due to Covid-19-related travel restrictions also brought on board Germany Ambassador to Tanzania, Regine Hess.
At the meeting, Mr Mfumukeko welcomed the German delegation and expressed his appreciation for the cooperation saying: “We are cooperating in critical sectors. Our joint programmes really touch the lives of the ordinary East African citizen.”
On the German side, von Essen commended the EAC for its strong role in the ongoing fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in the bloc, where referring to the EAC-German cooperation in the health sector, he emphasized on their preparedness to swiftly react to the disease.
“We could build on the foundations that had been laid long before the Covid-19 pandemic struck – testing capacities could be made available quickly and cross-border cooperation created leveraging in containing its further spread. Investments in human capital and laboratory equipment will continue in order to keep the regional level of preparedness high,” he added.
Mr. von Essen also complimented the EAC and its partner States for the economic integration steps already achieved, including the customs union and the common market protocol.
Looking forward, he stressed that Germany would continue to stay at the EAC’s side and support the bloc in harvesting the fruits of these integration steps by further deepening cooperation in the long-standing programmes on regional and social integration.
Unanimously, both sides agreed to continue and extend their ongoing cooperation, where out a total of up to 42.9 million Euros targeted, Germany pledged 30.9 million Euros for the cooperation on trade and economic infrastructure.
It was noted that the ongoing programmes on economic integration and trade will be continued and additionally, Germany’s assistance to the Lake Victoria Basin Commission will be extended beyond the current support integrated for water resources management to promote further development of the region around the Lake Victoria and possibly Lake Tanganyika and other water basins.
Germany pledged additional 12 million Euros to further improve pandemic preparedness, where both sides agreed to expand the ongoing support for prevention and strengthening of the disease monitoring by complementing the current mobile laboratories programme.
With the establishment of a regional network of supranational and specialised reference laboratories, the EAC pandemic preparedness capacities will be taken to the next level and the EAC resilience towards future health challenges will be strengthened.