Regional leaders have welcomed the entry of South Sudan in the East African Community, saying it is a big step in strengthening and guarantying prosperity for the bloc in a highly competitive modern world.
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni led the chorus hailing the decision to accept South Sudan as new member, saying it reminds the community of the three key purposes of integration.
He listed them as; how to survive in a competitive world, how to guarantee prosperity as a region and how to be secure in a modern world.
Museveni said that with South Sudan joining the East African Community, the regional block's geographical area is now almost the same size as India.
Museveni was today speaking during the 17th Ordinary Summit of the East African Community Heads of State at the Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge, Arusha, in Tanzania. The summit is being held under the theme: EAC: Advancing Market-Driven Integration.
"On this day when South Sudan joins the East African Community, we need to remind ourselves of the main purpose of our integration in three words; How to survive in a competitive world; How can we guarantee our prosperity. We are prosperous by buying from each other and; How to be secure in this modern world," he said adding that China, India and the United States of America were highly competitive while Europe defends itself through NATO despite each individual country being strong.
"Here we are scattered. I thank God that he has given me a long life to see all these things. We must ensure means for the survival of the black people," he said.
He said that we must strive for prosperity as a way forward. He challenged the summit and other leaders to work towards our security in the modern world. He observed that the developed countries were surviving through NATO.
Magufuli calls for Industrialisation
President John Pombe Magufuli who has retained the EAC chair was pleased to note that the Community has recorded a lot of progress including movement of goods with the transit time for goods from Mombasa to Rwanda reduced from 21 to 6 days and to Uganda by three days. He noted that the region was endowed with abundant resources.
"There is a critical factor for industrialization. Today we produce commodities that we do not consume and we consume what we do not produce. This trend must stop," he said noting that the community was working towards promoting textiles and leather industries in the region. He thanked the East African leaders and other official for their contribution in promoting the Community.
Magufuli called for tolerance in the East African Community and said that while each country has its own challenges, the community must remain united for development.
It was earlier revealed that Uganda and Tanzania agreed plans to build an oil pipeline between Tanga and Uganda covering a distance of 1,120km and projected to employ 15,000 people.
EAC Heads of State welcome South Sudan to Community
The 17th EAC summit saw South Sudan join the East African Community as a full member, a move described by South Sudanese Second Vice President James Wani Iga as a historical event for his country. Iga who represented President Salva kiir said this was not just about politics but about Economics and history. "This is where we belong," he said.
Leader after leader hailed the move by the community for bringing South Sudan into the fold said it will ensure prosperity for the people through a big market.
New Secretary General
The East African Community also named a new Secretary General, Liberat Mpfumukeko from Burundi. He takes over from Richard Sezibera from Rwanda.Mpfumukeko was previously deputy EAC Sec Gen Finance and Administration.
Source: All Africa