Earlier this week, the East African Community (EAC) Secretary-General, Libérat Mfumukeko and EU ambassador to Tanzania, Manfredo Fanti launched a 10 million euros joint programme to address regional and cross border security threats in the region.
The 45-month programme is a regional response to the various and growing security threats across the EAC region. It will be implemented by the EAC Secretariat and the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol).
During the signing, Fanti said that no country was immune to transnational crimes such as terrorism. While Mfumukeko assured East Africans that “the project will seek to reduce opportunities for transnational and cross border threats.”
In addition, the project will assist the EAC in the implementation of the recently adopted Peace and Security Protocol. And likewise, feed into the broader African commitment of “silencing the guns in Africa by 2020.”
For over 20 years, the EAC has been at the forefront of East Africa’s regional integration process, partnering with its 6 member states and other partner states to improve the lives of its 177 million citizens, through increased competitiveness, value-added production, trade and investments.
The EAC Integration process which is anchored by four pillars such as Customs Union, Common Market, Monetary Union and Political Federation, has achieved several milestones over the past two decades.
It has created a wider market with a combined GDP of $170billion through safeguarding the region from international economic shocks and establishing a common external tariff to protect the community’s domestic industries.
Similarly, the EAC attained the 24 hour opening of border points within the region. Subsequently opened more border points and created a one-stop border point for busy points e.g Malaba, Katuna, Namanga, Busia, amongst others.
Consequently, the EAC has been promoted to a single tourist destination making some partner states relax travel and work permit requirements for East Africans.
The EAC has recorded significant success in cross-border investments and FDI inflows which continue to strengthen its vision to have a prosperous, competitive, secure, stable and politically united East Africa.
By Treasure Nnabugwu.