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Highlights from daily news on East Africa regional integration compiled by TradeMark East Africa (TMEA).
22 April 2014

East Africa Integration News Review

Debate on the proposed standard gauge railway line between Mombasa and Nairobi, which is being implemented by the government, has largely been stuck around the way the project was procured. While it is proper and in the national interest to have this debate, it obfuscates the standard gauge railway’s great potential as a catalyst for economic take-off in Kenya and indeed the rest of East Africa.

The implementation of the Single Customs Territory within the East African Community (EAC) member states that began with a focus on the Port of Mombasa, where most goods entering EAC through the port are immediately cleared, has been shifted to benefit goods that are locally-produced within the EAC member countries.With this initiative, Ugandan goods such as cement and Mukwano products are the first to benefit from this newly-introduced system.

The Tanzanian government seeks to mobilize funds from both local and international sources so as to improve the central transport corridor — especially by expanding Dar es Salaam Port and revamping the central railway line. Addressing delegates at the alignment meeting on the development of central transport corridor organized by the World Economic Forum (WEF), President Jakaya Kikwete said the government sought to raise $4.13 (Sh6.5 trillion) for the task. He said the central transport corridor was crucial not only for Tanzania, but for Burundi, Rwanda, DR Congo and Uganda whose economic growth continues to depend on it over the years.

Finally, the delayed trade partnership between the East African Community and the European Union could be signed by October, after negotiators meeting in Nairobi reached consensus on three key outstanding issues. During their March 24 meeting, negotiators are said to have struck a deal on clauses on the Rules of Origin, Most Favoured Nations (MFN) status and policies for their respective domestic agricultural sectors that have been holding back the signing of an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the two trading blocs.

For more news and stories on East African trade and economic integration from the previous week, click on the links to the news articles below:


Briefs

Rail provides foundation to economic take-off
Standard Digital
Debate on the proposed standard gauge railway line between Mombasa and Nairobi, which is being implemented by the government, has largely been stuck around the way the project was procured. While it is proper and in the national interest to have this debate, it obfuscates the ...

Rwanda Revenue Authority(RRA) eases clearance of goods made in EAC
The New TImes
The implementation of the Single Customs Territory within the East African Community (EAC) member states that began with a focus on the Port of Mombasa, where most goods entering EAC through the port are immediately cleared, has been shifted to benefit goods that are locally...

EAC-EU deal could be sealed by October
The East African
The delayed trade partnership between the East African Community and the European Union could be signed by October, after negotiators meeting in Nairobi reached consensus on three key outstanding issues.During their March 24 meeting, negotiators are said to have struck a deal on...

Kikwete eyes private funding for Central transport corridor
The Citizen
The government seeks to mobilise funds from both local and international sources so as to improve the central transport corridor — especially by expanding Dar es Salaam Port and revamping the central railway line. Addressing delegates at the alignment meeting on the...

Port to soon handle larger vessels
Standard Digital
Kenya Ports Authority ( KPA) and German experts are scheduled to work on a simulation exercise to gauge the port’s capability to handle vessels with capacity of 6,000 twenty equivalent units (TEUs). Currently, the Port of Mombasa handles vessels of up to 4,500 TEUs but is expected to...

Tanzania could become East Africa's transport hub-President
Ventures
In line with its prospects of acheiving regional transportation hub status, Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete says his country’s plans to hike its cargo volumes by 40 percent over 2013 levels through the country’s main Dar es Salam port. “If we invest in logistic centres, improve on...

Integrating East Africa's markets
Tralac
Following the establishment of the Customs Union in 2005, and then the Common Market in 2010, on 30 November 2013 five East African countries reached the agreement on the Monetary Union Protocol, which is the next step in regionalising the economy. Deepening regional integration in...


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