Nairobi, 2 May 2014

Today in Nairobi, President Kagame together with President Kenyatta of Kenya, President Museveni of Uganda, President Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan, 2nd Vice President Gervais Rufyikiri of Burundi and Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda of Tanzania held the 5th Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit to discuss ongoing plans to achieve regional integration.

The Summit convened to review the progress made on implementation of the directives given during the 4th Northern Corridor Integration Projects began with the launch of the Kenya National Electronic Single Window System.

The system is aimed at facilitating the tracking, payment and President Kagame unveiled movement of goods to and from Kenya:

“We look forward to Rwanda’s continued active participation towards  making integration a reality.”

President Kenyatta described the launch as a milestone in regional integration:

“Our ultimate vision should be to implement an EAC Regional Single Window platform. The benefits from this initiative may not be fully realized unless all of us in the region adopt National Single Window Systems. Our brothers in Rwanda are already implementing a Single Window System and similar efforts are underway in Tanzania and Uganda.”

President Kenyatta also urged partner states to keep up the momentum in regional integration projects:

“I truly believe that completion of these projects will make our region a world leader in terms of trade facilitation.”

The launch was followed by a review of the progress of the integration projects. Key areas addressed include power generation and interconnectivity, oil pipeline development, development of human resources, establishment of commodity exchange, fast tracking of political federation, construction of the railway and defense, security and peace cooperation.

The summit agreed to fast track the establishment of the commodities exchange in the field of developing human capacity, the summit committed to establishing centre of excellence in respective countries and to ensure all citizens of partner states including South Sudan are able to attend institutions of higher learning for the same fee as nationals. Rwanda was designated as lead in establishing centre of excellence for GIS related training.

The partner states agreed to address the issue of use of national ID with all member states national airlines, remove immigration barriers to labour and service provision and operationalise one common border post. Rwanda will lead on e-visa issuance for partner states while member states committed to developing strategies to reduce air travel costs between Partner States.

The construction of the gauge railway was set to begin no later than October 2014. In the field of ICT, the partner states agreed to implement a one area network by 31st December 2014 and incorporate fiber optic access on all Northern Corridor Integration Projects.