Arusha, 1 February 2019
Let me start by thanking His Excellency, President Magufuli, and the Government of Tanzania, for your warm hospitality.
I also want to thank His Excellenc, President Museveni, outgoing Chair of the Summit of Heads of the East African Community, for steering well the organisation for the last two years.
Allow me to take this opportunity to express our solidarity with the President Uhuru of Kenya, and the people of Kenya, in the fight against terrorism.
It is an honour to serve as Chairperson of our Summit for the next year. I look forward to working together with my fellow leaders to serve the people of East Africa.
This summit comes at an important moment, as we approach the 20th anniversary of the revival of the East African Community.
We have much to celebrate. But it is also a moment to reflect on the meaning and value of this Community, which is important to all of us.
It is an opportunity to address whatever challenges exist, directly and frankly, so that we can move confidently together into the future.
Africa is moving ahead with deeper integration, as are other Regional Economic Communities, which are essential building blocks of continental integration.
We cannot afford to fall behind, particularly when the EAC was starting to make good progress. It is up to us to ensure that this community works for us as it should.
Nothing should hold us back from the important business that we have committed to for our collective good, including trade, infrastructure, industrialisation, and security.
As leaders of the Community, we therefore need to come together in a spirit of solidarity and unity, for the benefit and well-being of the citizens of our region.
Our Treaty is clear that the East African Community is people-centered. This should inform all our reflections and actions.
We will measure success by how easily our people, their goods and capital move within our region, and how prosperous they become as a result.
This is our task. I know we are equal to it, if we choose to put all our energies into making it happen.
I thank you very much for your kind attention.