Entebbe, 20 February 2014
President Kagame today joined President Kenyatta and President Museveni in Uganda, for the fourth Summit of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects; an initiative bringing together Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda to fast track regional development through regional infrastructure, trade and political and economic integration. Also present at the meeting was Burundi’s Vice President, Gervais Rufykiri and Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin from South Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The three heads of state also launched the East Africa Tourist Visa paving way for a more competitive East Africa region.
In his address, President Kagame commended the efforts to boost economic development in the region;
“This 4th meeting is an important illustration of the commitment to the goals set last year here in Entebbe, to work together on initiatives needed to advance development in our region. The progress made on current joint projects is encouraging. We have to maintain and even speed up the momentum especially on core infrastructure for transport and electricity in order to complete the agreed projects for the benefit of the people of our countries. The citizens of our countries are the ultimate judges of our work and I am confident that they fully benefit from the fruits of these initiatives.”
President Kagame described the newly signed Defence, Peace and Security Pact as a significant milestone in cooperation to safeguard regional stability and fight cross-border crime.
The host, President Museveni urged leaders in the region to engage in activities that improved the economic wellbeing of the region. He called on East Africans to avoid tribalism and instead focus on making bigger markets for products they produce.
President Kenyatta stressed on the need to fast-track the central infrastructure corridor with the ultimate goal of linking all the EAC member countries. He added that regional leaders are concerned primarily with improving infrastructure in the region and easing the movement of people and goods.
On the oil pipeline to be extended to Kigali, the Presidents directed partner states to tender documents for the procurement of Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) for the Eldoret-Kampala Pipeline, with an option of extending the pipeline to Kigali.
The Summit was convened to review the progress on implementation of the decisions reached during the 4th Infrastructure Summit that was held in Kigali on 28th October 2013 and to provide direction on implementing the Northern Corridor Integration Projects. The 5th Infrastructure Summit is scheduled to be held in Kenya in April.