DAR-ES-SALAAM, Leaders of five of the six countries in the East African Community (EAC) — Presidents John Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania, Uganda’s Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi and Salva Kiir of South Sudan — will attend an official Heads of State Retreat next month.
No reason is given in the announcement from the EAC Secretariat why the leader of Kenya, the largest economy in East Africa, is not in the list but it could be because of fresh presidential election to be held in that country on Thursday.
The venue for the retreat is yet to be announced, but it is aimed at accelerating the attainment of objectives of the EAC Development Strategy, the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the infrastructure and health sectors.
The Joint EAC Heads of State Retreat on Infrastructure and Health Financing and Development brings together two events, namely, the 4th EAC Heads of State Retreat on Infrastructure Financing and Development and the first EAC Summit on Investment in Health and Health Sector Investors and Donor Round Table and International Exhibition, says an official statement from the EAC Secretariat in Arusha in northern Tanzania.
The joint Presidential retreat is being convened at a time when the region’s ten-year infrastructure priorities which were agreed upon during the previously held, Third Heads of State Retreat held on 29th November, 2014 in Nairobi, are reachig the implementation phase.
Many of the projects, according to the EAC statement, have transitioned from conception phase to the implementation phase. The joint retreat will therefore review the status of implementation of the priority projects including relevant policy directives, mobilization of the required financing and implementation of the resolutions proposed to address the challenges observed at the 3rd Retreat.
The retreat will be targeting key priority projects in railways, ports and inland waterways, energy and connecting roads prioritised to decongest the cities and enhance ports logistics.
Likewise, as agreed during the 3rd Retreat, the 4th Retreat is expected to receive a report on the projects and programmes of the civil aviation and airports sub sectors. During the retreat, partner states will have an opportunity to showcase priority projects and engage with prospective investors for project uptakes.
As such, the retreat is expected to give new impetus to infrastructure and health development by way of possible funding commitments, political support to flagship projects, possible Public Private Partnership arrangements and a projects implementation roadmap.
Meanwhile, the EAC Secretariat on Monday convened the first EAC Development Partners Consultative Forum in Arusha to present its 5th Development Strategy.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK