Friday, December 31, 2010

East African Community May Expand in 2011

East Africa: Country's Full Integration to the EAC Bloc to Be Discussed

By Frank Kanyesigye
31 December 2010

Kigali — The full integration of Rwanda and Burundi into the East African Community bloc like Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania is expected to be discussed early next year.

Speaking to The New Times yesterday Monique Mukaruliza, the Minister of EAC affairs said that Rwanda is not yet fully integrated in the regional bloc like in terms of hosting EAC organs and institutions, having equal number of staff in institutions of the bloc.

"We agreed to have a roadmap showing how Rwanda and Burundi will be fully integrated in the EAC bloc and is expected to be finalised end January next year," she said.

Mukaruliza added that the EAC Secretary General will circulate the roadmap to partner states by the end of January before presenting it to the next meeting of the Council of Ministers for discussions.

"We expect the roadmap to show how each partner state stands in terms of staffing, hosting EAC organs and institutions and also other benefits accruing from the integration," she explained.

"That is when we shall propose how the new entrants reach the level of the original partner states and agree when Rwanda and Burundi will be fully integrated."

She noted that other partner states host headquarters of a number of EAC institutions but Rwanda and Burundi have none.

Rwanda and Burundi assented to the EAC bloc in July 2007.

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