The EAC’s quest to strengthen its partnerships and strategically refocus to respond to East Africans’ needs, day been affirmed by development partners, who committed to support key priorities under the 6th EAC Development Strategy.
This follows the 3rd East African Community Development Partners Group (DPG) Forum held at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania, providing a platform for the EAC to share critical priorities anchored in the EAC Vision 2050, the 6th EAC Development Strategy, the Comprehensive COVID-19 recovery plan, and funding needs of the EAC Programmes and Projects.
Addressing the forum, the EAC Secretary General, Dr. Peter Mathuki revealed the 6th EAC Development Strategy is estimated to cost US$ 691.5m over the next five years, with additional resources required to implement other critical regional programmes and projects in the different sectors.
These include; 286 Heads of State Infrastructure priority projects and the nine priority projects in the health sector, which require investments amounting to US$78 billion and US$3.5 billion, respectively, over the next ten years.
“We intend to incorporate and mainstream cross-cutting issues such as gender, youth, social safeguards, and poverty reduction in our programmes and projects,” said Dr.Mathuki.
In the wake of DRC’s admission to the bloc, the Secretary General urged the partners to support the implementation of the road-map for the integration of DRC into the EAC.
In addition, the Secretary General implored the Partners to support EAC projects and activities. He expressed concern over the decline in regional funding, caused by competition for resources by other parties over the years, which has furthered bureaucracy, resulting to delays and inefficient implementation of programmes.
On her part, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United Republic Tanzania, and Co-chair of the EAC –DPG Forum, Regine Hess, noted that the forum provides an opportunity to promote better coordination of development support to the EAC by various development partners.
Amb. Hess appreciated the willingness of the EAC Secretariat to engage on sector specific priority areas particularly on key regional priorities given the wide and ambitious portfolio of EAC.
“Let me assured the EAC that the development Partners are committed to supporting the key priorities areas as articulated in the 6th EAC Development Strategy,” she said.
The high-level meeting was preceded by technical thematic meetings on Infrastructure and Economic Integration which sought to foster synergies and leverage on the available resources, while avoiding duplication of efforts in financing EAC programmes and projects.
The forum was attended by multiple key development partners, Ambassadors accredited to the EAC; EAC Heads EAC Organs and Institutions, the East African Business Council among other stakeholders.