Weekly Newspaper

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issn 0856 - 9135
Issue No. 0931
November 26 - December 2, 2016

Front page 1

US pledges support to unlock EA potential

By Staff Reporter


Despite speculations and fears that the new President of the United States, Donald Trump will cut America’s support to Africa, the US Government has pledged 400 billion/- for development projects in the five East African Countries.

The US Government and the East African Community (EAC) have  just launched a Regional Development Objectives Grant Agreement at the EAC headquarters here and on behalf of the White House in Washington, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will contribute approximately US $194 million over a five year period to shared development goals.

About US $30 million will fund institutional strengthening within the EAC Secretariat, while the remainder will support other development partners in their efforts to contribute to the EAC regional integration agenda.

Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy to Tanzania and US Representative to the EAC Ambassador Virginia Blaser, USAID Mission Director for Kenya and East Africa Karen Freeman, and EAC Secretary General Ambassador Liberaìt Mfumukeko signed a memorandum of acknowledgment to affirm the agreement.

Envoy Blaser noted the tremendous value of fostering regional cooperation, saying that the United States supports “governments and regional bodies such as the EAC in their collaborative efforts to unlock this region’s full potential for the benefit of its people.”

USAID Mission Director Freeman emphasized the joint achievements of the EAC and USAID over the past two decades. “By simplifying customs and border procedures, we have facilitated faster, more affordable and predictable trade.

Under this agreement, the EAC and the United States will work together to advance regional economic integration,  increase trade and investment between member states and with the United States, improve the sustainable management of natural resources in the Lake Victoria Basin and Mara River ecosystems, improve access to integrated health services in border areas
and strengthen the EAC’s organizational leadership.

EAC Secretary General Mr Liberat Mfumukeko thanked USAID for its continued support to the EAC integration agenda.

Mr Mfumukeko said that EAC’s partnership with the United States dates back to the Community’s inception.

“The partnership continues to expand and be strengthened through mutual development objectives and funding for programmes such as trade and investment, biodiversity, climate change, agriculture, food security, water supply and sanitation, and institutional support,” said Mr Mfumukeko.

The Secretary General said that the new EAC-USAID Regional Development Objective Grant Agreement (RDOAG) 2016-2021 would deepen integration, improve cross-border risk management and strengthen regional institutions leadership and learning

He added that the RDOAG would support harmonization of policies and standards, and scale up technologies and best practices in trade, investment, agriculture, energy, and environmental and natural resource management.

Others to be supported by the Agreement are climate change, gender, livelihood, and population and health threats.

Also present at the ceremony were the Ms. Candace Buzzard, Deputy Director at the USAID Mission and Mr Charles Njoroge, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation.

 

 

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