Denmark’s new Ambassador to Tanzania and the East African Community, Ms. Mette Norgaard Dissing-Spandet, presented her credentials to EAC Secretary General Amb. Libérat Mfumukeko at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
Amb. Dissing-Spandet informed the Secretary General that the concept of regional integration was dear to Denmark as country despite the challenges facing integration and multilateral cooperation at the moment all over the world.
Amb. Dissing-Spandet said that EAC had the twin duties of integrating the peoples of East Africa and creating a good framework for intra-regional trade by opening up Partner States’ markets.
The Danish envoy said that her country would continue to support the integration process but called for increased visibility of Danish-funded projects.
Receiving the Danish envoy, Amb. Mfumukeko informed her that the EAC was currently implementing its 5th Development Strategy focusing on things that will transform EAC citizens’ lives, namely: boosting food security by reducing post-harvest losses through agro-processing, supporting Micro- Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and promoting industrial development to spur job creation especially for the youth below who constitute more than 60 per cent of the region’s population.
“We are also pushing the countries to enact investment laws to improve the business climate in the region both for local and international investors,” he said, adding that the 45 Non-Tariff Barriers to trade had been eliminated in 2018.
On healthcare, the SG disclosed that the Community would soon deploy mobile reference laboratories to enable people in remote areas to access diagnostic laboratory services especially for infectious diseases.
He said mechanisms for the establishment of an EAC Political Confederation were well underway with the Committee of 18 Constitutional Experts and Legislative Draftsmen having embarked on National Stakeholder Consultations to seek views from East Africans on the kind of Confederation they would like and to make the constitution making process as participatory as possible.
“The National Stakeholder Consultations were launched by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda on 18th November, 2019. The National Stakeholder Consultations will enable us to understand what powers each Partner State would be prepared to give up and what they would like to retain,” he said.
“All Partner States have ratified the EAC Defence Cooperation Pact. The Defence Forces, Police Services and Intelligence Services already have platforms for cooperation amongst themselves,” he added.
Amb. Mfumukeko hailed Denmark for its continued support of the integration process singling out the EAC Partnership Fund which had enabled the Community to record many achievements in diverse sectors.