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President Samia upbeat  on integration

President Samia upbeat on integration

President Samia Suluhu Hassan  on Wednesday reiterated Tanzania’s commitment in driving forward the East African Community (EAC) integration agenda.

President Samia, who was attending her maiden virtual 18th Extra Ordinary Heads of State Summit, said Tanzania will remain committed in ensuring that EAC member states work together in taking the envisioned integration to higher levels.

Ms Samia expressed Tanza- nia’s belief that the integration process should be rule-based and efforts should be made to ensure that all Partner States adhere to the set rules, procedures and processes.

She added: “Let’s encourage the principles of collective bar- gaining especially when dealing with the agenda of the outside world, particularly on matters of common interest.”

The president equally reit- erated Tanzania’s commitment in ensuring that EAC member states work together in taking the integration to higher levels “Being the host of the com- munity, I would also like to reas- sure you of Tanzania’s continued commitment to facilitate EAC’s smooth operations,” she said.

Tanzania currently hosts the headquarters of the EAC, with Arusha being a home to the re- gional intergovernmental organ- isation of six Partner States.

The Head of State chal- lenged the EAC partner states to encourage the principles of collective bargaining especially when dealing with the agenda of the outside world, particularly on matters of common interests.

Ms Samia deemed EAC’s feat as the most performing bloc as a prerequisite to true integration.

“This shows how strong the community is and how committed our people are in furthering integration, some- thing we should all be proud of,” she asserted.

The EAC was last year rat- ed as the most integrated bloc among the eight Regional Eco- nomic Communities in Africa. The Africa Regional Integration Index (ARII 2019) gave the EAC an overall score of 0.537, noting that it had excelled in free movement of people dimension.

Meanwhile, President Samia also acknowledged fel- low Heads of State’s support as she gelled in the Community and their unwavering support during the death of her prede- cessor, Dr John Magufuli.

The Tanzanian leader revealed that she felt her colleagues’ backing as she tran- scended into her new position.

“I’d like to thank you all for warmly welcoming me into the community and for your relentless support during the nation’s loss,” President Samia said.

The Head of State also appreciated the kind gesture by some of her counterparts in ce- menting bilateral relations with Tanzania.

“Many of you invited me to your countries and others heeded my call and visited my country Tanzania. I am hum- bled by your support,” she stated.

She equally commended Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who also chairs the Summit, for his continued effort to spearhead the objectives of the community in strengthening and deepening the inte- gration agenda.

Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda were all repre- sented by their Presidents dur- ing the Summit, save for South Sudan and Burundi which were represented by ministers of East African Community Affairs.

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Author: EDWARD QORRO in Arusha

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