East African Community has made huge strides in the infrastructure sub-sector in the region.
This is according to the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Planning and Infrastructure, Eng. Steven Mlote who also noted that there is considerable developments that are being registered in the infrastructure sub-sector in the region including the fast pace in the development of multinational roads.
“The rapid expansion of airports and national airlines, the on-going development of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) on the Northern and Central corridors, the expansion of seaports, as well as the increase in mobile penetration and related mobile services.” He said.
Mr Mlote was speaking during the 15th meeting of the Sectoral Council on Transport, Communications and Meteorology (TCM) at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
Infrastructure is one of the most critical enablers of a successful regional integration, taking into account its importance in facilitating activities such as trade, agriculture, tourism and the movement of labour and other resources.
“The EAC Heads of State, during the Joint EAC Heads of State Retreat on Infrastructure and Health Financing and Development held on 22nd February 2018, approved 286 projects including 17 flagship projects for championship at the Heads of State Level, whose total investment requirement amounts to US$ 79 billion,” he said.
The EAC operates five modes of transport systems consisting of road, rail, maritime, air transport and oil pipeline. The EAC recognises that regional infrastructure interventions are key to attracting investment into the region, improving competitiveness, and promoting trade.
Mlote further emphasized that political support and leadership by the Ministers responsible for infrastructure sectors was a critical factor for successful implementation of the identified regional priority projects. Speaking at the same meeting, the Minister of State for Works and Transport, Ministry of Works and Transport, Uganda, Hon Aggrey Henry Bagiire, stressed on the need to make headway on relating to air transport services liberalization and the EAC roaming framework.
The meeting discussed various projects and programmes under the Infrastructure sub-sectors – roads, railway, civil aviation and airports, maritime transport, meteorology and communication.
In attendance were Ministers/Cabinet Secretaries, Permanent and Principal Secretaries and Senior Officials of the EAC Partner States responsible for infrastructure sectors; Civil Aviation Safety and Security Agency (CASSOA); the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) and the EAC Secretariat.
The need to fast track the implementation of Vehicle Load Control and One Stop Border Posts Acts was empasised at this meeting. The meeting also agreed on the proposal to develop Phase II of the One Stop Border Posts, as well as the In an effort to further enhance the sub-sector in the region, the meeting also approved the EAC Railway Enhancement Study report and the EAC Postal Strategy.