Mombasa, 28 August 2013
President Kagame today joined President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Kaguta Museveni in Mombasa, Kenya, for the second summit on regional infrastructure, trade, political and economic integration. On the sidelines of the summit, the three heads of state also commissioned Berth 19 at the Mombasa’s Kilindini Harbour. The 240-metre long new berth is expected to boost container handling operations and increase capacity at the Kenyan Port which serves the entire region.
In his address, President Kagame commended the efforts to boost economic development in the region;
“I bring greetings from the people of Rwanda who are looking forward to working with you towards regional integration. I thank the leadership and the people of Kenya for hitting the ground running with the agenda of an integrated East African Community. The development of infrastructure here is going to serve the people of East Africa and beyond.”
President Kenyatta emphasized Kenya’s government determination to ensure port operations run smoothly;
“We are looking for efficiency in order to reduce trade barriers and to improve opportunities for our country. This port is critical to our region’s development and commissioning of Berth 19 represents the pragmatic aspects of my government’s commitment. It is my Government’s manifest intention to turn the Port of Mombasa into the largest, busiest and most business-friendly sea-port on the East African coast.”
President Museveni, who is the current chair of the East African Community, said the port was critical in assisting producers of goods and services in the region to access local and international markets. He challenged regional states to unite in a bid to create a bigger market for regional products and services as well as consolidate their bargaining power with major global economies and trading blocs.
The 2nd Infrastructure Summit was held to review progress of implementation of the decisions reached during the inaugural summit held in Entebbe in June this year. Among the decisions taken were the provision of direction on enhancement of regional integration and addition of Burundi and South Sudan into the summit. The two countries will take full part in the projects and will be incorporated into the technical committees. The 3rd Infrastructure Summit is scheduled to be held in Kigali in October.