A total of 35 out of 286 projects identified by the East African Community Heads of State as priority infrastructure development projects have been completed and are now operational.
The EAC Heads of State Joint Retreat on Infrastructure and Health Financing and Development held in Kampala, Uganda on 22nd February, 2018, approved a set of 286 priority infrastructure projects in various sectors for joint promotion and coordinated implementation by the Partner States.
The Joint Retreat brought together two events, namely: the 4th EAC Heads of State Retreat on Infrastructure Financing and Development and the 1st EAC Summit on Investment in Health and Health Sector.
The 16th Meeting of the EAC Sectoral Council on Transport, Communication and Meteorology (TCM) held in Kampala this week was informed that the completed projects are in diverse sectors including railways, ports, roads, energy and airports.
Among the completed projects are: the rehabilitation of the 270 km Malaba-Kampala railway; construction of the 472 km Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway line; development to of the Lake Nyasa Ports – Itungi, Kiwira and Ndumbi; construction of the 454 km of 20- inch diameter (mainline 450 Km and spur line KOSF to PS1 4km) Mombasa – Nairobi refined petroleum oil products pipeline, and; the Taxiways rehabilitation and construction of new semi full parallel taxiway, apron rehabilitation and expansion, refurbishment of Passenger Terminal Building at Kilimanjaro International Airport, Tanzania.
Likewise, 106 projects (36% of all projects) are at an advanced stage of the project development cycle having secured funding for construction or being at tendering and construction stages. Notably, a significant number of projects (60 projects) are still at the very early stages of the cycle being either at concept or preliminary studies stage.
Over a period of time some of the projects which were initially conceived as one project have been repackaged into discrete manageable sections for phased implementation.
The TCM further approved a 10-year roadmap for the implementation of the remaining EAC Heads of State priority projects.
On communication, the TCM reiterated its earlier directives to the Republic of Burundi and the United Republic of Tanzania that are yet to implement the EAC Roaming Framework to do so. The Roaming Framework which provides for the harmonisation of mobile calling and data charges has so far only been implemented by the Republics of Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda.
The TCM reiterated its earlier directive to the Secretariat to follow up with all Partner States that have implemented the EAC Roaming Framework by collecting and sharing with Tanzania and Burundi by 30th September, 2019, and Tanzania to implement the framework by 31st March, 2019.
The initial deadline by the EAC Heads of State Summit for the implementation of the roaming framework was 2015.
On the Tripartite Vehicle Load Management Agreement bringing together EAC, SADC and COMESA, the TCM agreed that all Partner States maintain zero percent tolerance on Gross Vehicle Weight.
The meeting further directed Partner States to enforce the provisions of the EAC Vehicle Loda Control Act, 2016 with respect to weigh-bridge standards.
The EAC Vehicle Load Act, 2016 (EAC VLC Act, 2016) has been a core for harmonization of the Tripartite Road Transport Legal Instruments of Vehicle Load Management Agreement (VLMA) and Multilateral Cross Border Road Transport Agreement (MCBRTA). Whereas the proposed VLMA to a large extent, addressed most of the contents of EAC VLC Act, 2016, the disagreement remain on level of tolerances on Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). The EAC VLC Act, 2016 is for the zero tolerance while the TTTFP VLMA recommends for the 2% tolerance.
The five-day meeting which was opened by Eng. Steven Mlote, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Infrastructure and Planning, was chaired by Eng. Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye, Rwanda’s Minister of State in-charge of Transport. Also in attendance was Burundi’s Minister to the Office of the President responsible for EAC Affairs, Hon. Isabelle Ndahayo; Hon. Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala, Uganda’s Minister of State for Works and Transport; Hon. Julius Kiplangat Korir, Kenya’s Principal Secretary for Infrastructure, and; H.E. Amb. Aziz P. Mlima, Tanzania’s High Commissioner to Uganda.