Custom Union represents ‘the will of East Africans’
The heads of state of the three East African Community partner states, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (Uganda), President Benjamin William Mkapa (Tanzania) and President Mwai Kibaki (Kenya), held their Fifth Summit of the East African Community in Arusha on March 2. The summit was also attended by President Domitiene Ndayizeye of Burundi and Bernard Mukuza, Prime Minister of Rwanda . After a cordial meeting of the Heads of State, chaired by Ugandan President, the following communique was issued. Excerpts:
The heads of state signed the protocol on the East African Customs Union at a colourful ceremony marked with pomp and dignity attended by thousands of East Africans and their well wishers at the Sheikh Amri Abeid stadium in Arusha. The heads of state observed that the Customs Union epitomized the will of the East African people to unite in strength and realize the faster socio-economic transformation of the Region as a single market and investment area.
The heads of state received the annual report of the Council of Ministers for the year 2003 and noted the steady progress made in the various identified areas of regional integration and development, including infrastructure projects in roads, railways, posts and telecommunications, energy and the Lake Victoria Development Programme.
The heads of state witnessed the launching of the EAC students essay writing competition; and the signing of a memorandum of understanding by the Mayors of the three East African Capitals – Dar es salaam, Nairobi and Kampala.
The chairman of the Summit of the East African Community
presided over a ceremony of naming a prominent street in Arusha Barabara ya
Afrika Mashariki and an adjacent close as EAC Close by the Arusha municipality
in honour of the East African Community.Their Excellencies, presidents Museveni
and Mwai Kibaki thanked their host, His Excellency president Benjamin William
Mkapa for the cordial reception and warm hospitality extended to them and their
respective delegations during their stay in Arusha.