EAC Secretary General, Amb Dr Richard Sezibera yesterday delivered a moving Speech as the Assembly completed week one of its deliberations.
The EAC Secretary General's speech gave a score-card of deliverables during his tenure at the helm before an attentive House. The Secretary General cited five key areas in the broad vision and remarked that under his five year tour of duty, the bloc had witnessed significant achievements.
On the Customs Union, Amb Dr Sezibera remarked that sustained campaigns to ensure realisation of the Single Customs Territory (SCT) had duly paid off.
"Today, should one visit the Port of Dar es Salaam right here, you will witness revenue officials from the rest of the Partner States clearing goods", he said.
The time within which it takes to clear goods has reduced tremendously. At the central corridor it now takes 3 days, down from the 18 days while in the northern corridor, there is significant reduction from 21 days to 5 days," Amb Dr Sezibera said.
He remarked that there was sustained pressure to rid the region of Non-Tariff barriers and such, were paying off while the port clearance times were also reduced from three weeks to under ten days.
On the Common Market, Amb Dr Sezibera remarked that thee Partner States, the Republics of Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, had employed the Inter-State passes to enhance free movement and said Republic of Burundi and the United Republic of Tanzania would soon join in to the initiative. The EAC boss termed the recent introduction of the International EAC e-Passport as a critical milestone in the integration dispensation.
The Secretary General further termed the conclusion and ratification of the Monetary Union as a major milestone. "Despite the skepticism as a result of the challenges witnessed in Europe, the Monetary Union Protocol was completed and speedily ratified", Amb Dr Sezibera said. He further remarked that the Central Banks had established a real-time settlement mode paving way for the EAC payment system to be a reality.
On other areas, the Secretary General informed the House of the tremendous progress realized. He said the ten year infrastructure programme would set the region apart from other parts of the continent in terms of competitiveness.
"For the first time, the region is laying the Standard Railway Gauge and making unprecedented advances in investment of energy. The region shall soon be able to transfer power from one Partner State to another as a result of the inter-connectors", he said.
The Secretary General stated that citizens of the region were now fully involved in the integration process.
The Secretary General further remarked that he was elated to be leaving the Community at a time when its Vision is in place. The EAC 2050 Vision anticipates the contrive of the bloc into an upper middle income region within a secure and politically united East Africa based on the principles of inclusiveness and accountability.
"It is in this era that per capita income is expected to rise up to USD 10,000 per person up from the current per capita income of USD 1000", Amb Sezibera said.
At the same time, the region intends to create about 2.3 million jobs by 2032 in the industrial and manufacturing sectors.
The Secretary General of the EAC further informed the House of the completion of the Institutional Review of the EAC and said the Directorates of Finance and Planning had been ISO certified.
The Secretary General said there were challenges that need to be addressed including harmonization and approximation of laws in the Partner States to conform to the Common Market Protocol.
The remarks of the Secretary General were delivered to the House pursuant to Rule 40 of the EALA Rules of Procedure of the Assembly and the matter was not debated. It is anticipated that a Motion for a Resolution on the subject matter may be introduced for debate when the House resumes next week.