Home > BUSINESS > Burundi:EAC embarks Africa on integration – AU Commission chairperson

Burundi:EAC embarks Africa on integration – AU Commission chairperson

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Laaska news  Dec. 1, 2011

BUJUMBURA, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) — The East African Community (EAC) bloc is embarking the whole African continent regarding integration, African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Jean Ping said at the 13th ordinary summit of the EAC heads of state here in the Burundian capital Bujumbura on Wednesday evening.

We (AU) are proud of the advancement you (the EAC) are making. Your proven dynamism is embarking the whole African continent regarding integration,” AU Commission Chairperson Jean Ping said.

The summit was attended by the presidents of Kenya, Burundi and Uganda respectively Mwai Kibaki, Pierre Nkurunziza and Yoweri Museveni, as well as vice-president of Tanzania Mohamed Gharib Bilal and Rwandan Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi.

Participants to the summit also included diplomats, development partners, officials from the EAC partner states namely Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, officials of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and officials of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Ping said the launch of the EAC-COMESA-SADC tripartite was a “key driver” for the integration of the African continent.

The Summit was held under the theme “Consolidating the Common Market and Laying the Foundation for a Monetary Union.”

During the summit, Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza and outgoing chairperson of the EAC of state heads summit, handed over the chairmanship to Kenyan President Kibaki.

The Burundian president said that during his one-year tenure the EAC bloc had speedy activities and the implementation of the customs union moved fast during his one-year tenure.

“We (EAC leaders) are turning the bloc into a single customs territory,” he said.

During the presentation of the November 2010/November 2011 annual report of the activities in the EAC, Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers Musa Sirma said the monetary union protocol supposed to be implemented in 2012 still has some problems to enter into force at the expected time.

“Due to the financial crisis which hit several countries including big powers, it became difficult for us to start implementing the customs union in our region in 2012. But we will continue the project,” Musa Sirma told participants to the summit.

Regarding the implementation of the EAC political federation initially slated for 2013, the chairperson of the council of ministers said a committee of experts will be set up to “lift fears” on the type of federation that is suitable for the EAC bloc.

During the summit, the Burundian president and outgoing chairperson of the EAC summit, handed over the chairmanship to Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki.

The summit launched the EAC development strategy (2011/12-2015/ 16) whose theme is “deepening and accelerating regional integration”.

The summit approved the protocol on cooperation in defense subject to amendment of article 17 to provide that the partner states shall negotiate and conclude within one year hence a mutual defense pact.

Xinhua.
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