East Africa: EA Leaders Discuss Utility, Air Space Sharing Potential

EAST African leaders have agreed to join electricity grids to facilitate power sharing and also establish mechanism on keeping peace and security in the region.

During their one-day meeting on the Northern Corridor Integration Project in Kigali, Rwanda on day, the Heads of State also deliberated on air space sharing.

President Jakaya Kikwete left for the Rwandan Capital on Saturday to join leaders from Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Burundi and the host country for the meeting.

A statement issued on Saturday by the Directorate of the Presidential Communications said the meeting was convened to deliberate on implementation of various projects as stipulated in the previous meeting held in Kenya late last year.

The Heads of State Summit was preceded by a meeting of regional experts and senior officials on Wednesday and Thursday, assessing implementation of 14 projects under the NCIP framework.

During the meeting, a report of the Ministerial Session on the implementation of projects was presented to the Heads of State for analysis and guidance on the way forward.

They included the building of an oil refinery in Uganda, oil and gas pipelines establishment and the construction of a regional railway that will connect all the EAC member states.

The Northern Corridor brings together countries that are mainly served by the Mombasa Port in Kenya which are Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan.

Tanzania, Burundi and Ethiopia also take part as observers. Rwanda’s national coordinator for the NCIP Monique Mukaruliza said a lot had been achieved especially in the areas of customs integration and in the telecommunication sector, where agreements on one network area have made it cheaper to make and receive calls from within the EAC.

According to Joseph Nyagah, Kenya’s national coordinator for the NCIP, the Heads of State are putting pressure on the senior officials and experts to ensure that the projects are implemented according to the intended plan.

“The Northern Corridor (NCIP) is an exciting project. We have achieved a lot during the past one and half years, because the presidents are fully in charge.

They are the ones supervising it and every two months they chair a meeting where we go through item by item,” he said.

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