Sunday, January 24, 2016
Germany offers Euro37m for EAC
The Federal Republic of Germany has signed an intergovernmental agreement with the East African Community (EAC) to support the economic integration, regional health facilities and water resource management amounting to Euro37m (Sh87.9bn) for 2016-2018. The grants highlight the strong commitment by the Germany government to support the East African integration process. According to the pact, Euro 10m (Sh23.7bn) in financial assistance will be invested in the establishment of a regional network of reference laboratories for communicable diseases. With this project, the German Government responds to a request for support from the EAC for the prevention and control of epidemic outbreaks in the region. The other Euro10m (Sh23.7bn) in financial assistance will be used for Integrated Water Resource Management of Lake Victoria aiming at improving water provision and management of water resources with both projects being implemented by KfW development bank. At least Euro 17m (Sh40.3bn) also will cater for technical assistance will be made available to further support the economic integration process, including a contribution to the EAC partnership fund. The programme is focusing on institutional strengthening of the EAC Secretariat and on supporting the implementation of the Customs Union, Common Market Protocols and Monetary Union. This includes the elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers such as tax harmonisation as well as Mutual Recognition Agreements for qualifications. At the same time Germany will support the EAC in promoting private investment especially in the pharmaceutical sector, including the establishment of a regional quality infrastructure for the pharmaceutical sector. These projects will be implemented by GIZ and PTB – German Metrology Institute. Dr. Richard Sezibera, the EAC Secretary General, thanked the German government for the continued support to the Integration Agenda especially at a time when integration is facing challenges across the world. He said this particular financing agreement comes at the right time when the Community is finalising its New Vision 2050. John Reyels, Chargé d` Affaires of the German Embassy Dar es Salaam, said: “Our support underlines the importance we give to the East African Community. The EAC is a role model and pace-setter in Africa and we are proud working closely with you in order to contribute to the well-being and prosperity of the citizens of this region.” Since cooperation began in 1998 the total volume of German support to the EAC amounts to almost Euro213m (Sh505.7bn). Germany also has substantial bilateral cooperation with all five EAC Partner States.