Samia wants EAC matters prioritised

DAR ES SALAAM: PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan on Thursday said that the recent changes in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation are aimed at enhancing efficiency in dealing with various matters related to the EAC integration process.

The Head of State revealed that in Dar es Salaam after swearing in 24 judges of the High Court and Court of Appeal and other government officials.

Among officials who were sworn in on Thursday include Ambassador Stephen Mbundi as Permanent Secretary and his deputy Ambassador Said Shaib Mussa who will be in charge of the Ministry’s EAC section.

The President said that she was previously advised to form a new Ministry of East African Cooperation so that issues relating to the regional bloc could be given priority but she could not do so because the decision would place more financial burden to the government. “I have decided to appoint the two executives who are experienced in international affairs. Thus they are in better position   to deal with EAC issues.”

“The aim is to address the shortcomings that were noted when dealing with  issues of East African Cooperation, especially on integration and participation in the   debate of having single currency,  as more countries want to be part of the regional bloc,” said President Samia.

She added that there were suggestions that were presented to her concerning EAC which were very important, directing the two technocrats to work with the team at the ministry to realise the expected outcomes.

“Since Tanzania is among the EAC founders it is important to know what we are doing and why and the benefits from what we are doing by fully and actively participating EAC integration process and other matters,” she stressed.

The President added that it is important for Tanzania to stand firm when dealing with EAC issues and give them due weight because they also matter much to the government and its prosperity.

“The economic diplomacy that the country is engaging in results from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation’s engagement and good cooperation with other nations in the world,” she said.

President Samia said that Tanzania cannot speak about having investors and expansion of international trade without involving the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation.

She added: “You have a youthful minister who is energetic who can work hard and connect the country to the world.”

As one of the fastest growing regional economic blocs in the world, the EAC is widening and deepening co-operation among the Partner States in various key spheres for their mutual benefits.

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