As their colleagues in other jurisdictions jointly-owned projects and go their separate ways, East African heads of state East Africa are polishing their shoes for more joint enterprises.
After finalizing arrangements for a one-area telecommunication network for their five countries, Presidents Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), Salva Kiir Mayardit (South Sudan), Paul Kagame (Rwanda) and Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr.Tedros Ghebreyesu (Ethiopia) are looking for private investors to partner them for an oil refinery.
They are looking for private sector operators to take up 60 percent shares in the refinery while the East African countries would share the remaining among themselves.
The report on expression of interest among the private sector would be discussed at the leaders’ next meeting next month.
Financing arrangements for crude oil pipeline development would similarly be reviewed by the heads of states and government at the October meeting.
It was agreed that the roadmap for power interconnectivity project between Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya, should be reviewed in consultation with the African Development Bank and the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme.
Interestingly they are looking beyond economic integration to a political federation, and the EAC have reached the point of finalizing the modalities as well as working out a comprehensive strategy for joint airspace management.
Further, finance ministers were tasked to continue engagement with AfDB, IFC, EXIM Bank of China to solicit funds. The four states welcomed Burundi’s decision to join the Northern Corridor in the next fiscal year.
President Uhuru Kenyatta observed that if regional countries continued on the path they are pursuing, there would be no doubt integration would be realised in this lifetime, “considering that since the very first meeting more than a year ago, leaders of the region have never failed to meet as agreed every two months”.