The EAC Secretariat and Germany successfully concluded their negotiations on development cooperation at the EAC Secretariat’s headquarter in Arusha, Tanzania.
In total, Germany committed up to €42.9M for the next two years.
The negotiations were led by the Secretary-General of the East African Community Secretariat, Libérat Mfumukeko, and Marcus von Essen, Head of the East Africa Division at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
While BMZ participated virtually, due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions, Regine Hess, Ambassador of Germany to Tanzania and the EAC, joined the negotiations in Arusha.
Mfumukeko welcomed the German delegation and expressed his appreciation of the cooperation: “We are cooperating in critical sectors. Our joint programmes really touch the lives of the ordinary East African citizen.”
For the German side, Marcus von Essen commended the EAC for its strong role in the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in East Africa.
Referring to the EAC-German cooperation in the health sector, he emphasized its preparedness to swiftly react to the pandemic, “We could build on the foundations that had been laid long before the COVID-19 pandemic struck – testing capacities could be made available quickly and cross-border cooperation created leverage in containing its further spread. Investments in human capital and laboratory equipment will continue in order to keep the regional level of preparedness high.”
Mr. von Essen also complimented the EAC and its Partner States for the economic integration steps already achieved, including the customs union and the common market protocol.
Looking forward, he stressed that Germany wanted to continue to stay at the EAC’s side and support the Community in harvesting the fruits of these integration steps by further deepening cooperation in the long-standing programmes on regional and social
Both sides agreed to continue and extend their ongoing cooperation. Out of a total of up to €42.9M, Germany pledged €30.9M for cooperation on trade and economic infrastructure.
It was stipulated that the ongoing programmes on economic integration and trade will be continued.
Additionally, Germany’s assistance to the Lake Victoria Basin Commission will be extended beyond the current support to integrated water resources management, to promote further development of the region around the Lake Victoria and possibly Lake Tanganyika and other water basins.
Germany pledged additional €12M to further improve pandemic preparedness.
Both sides agreed to expand the ongoing support to pandemic prevention and strengthening of disease monitoring by complementing the current mobile laboratories programme.
With the establishment of a regional network of supranational and specialised reference laboratories, the EAC pandemic preparedness capacities will be taken to the next level and the EAC resilience towards future health challenges will be strengthened.
Original article on Taarifa Rwanda