Tanzania hailed for its regional integration efforts

The East African Community (EAC) commends the United Republic of Tanzania for its significant contribution to deepening regional integration and increasing intra-EAC trade and development opportunities, so that the country celebrates its 60 years of independence.

As one of the three founding partner states of the Community, Tanzania plays a vital role in the region, being one of the three original partner states of the EAC which signed the treaty establishing the EAC on 30e November 1999, entered into force on 7e July 2000.

Secretary General of the EAC, Hon. (Dr.) Peter Mathuki, underlined the essential role of Tanzania in the region as it is the host of the EAC headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

“We commend the Republic of Tanzania for guiding growth and development in the country and also for promoting peace and security. It is this stability that has created an enabling operating environment for the EAC and its organs, headquartered in the United Republic of Tanzania, ”said Dr Mathuki.

“The city of Arusha in Tanzania is the permanent seat of the Secretariat of the East African Community, the executive body of the Community, and of the Legislative Assembly of East Africa (EALA ), the legislative body of the Community ”, added Dr Mathuki, adding that Arusha was also the temporary seat of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ), the judicial organ of the Community.

The country is also home to the East African Kiswahili Commission (EAKC), based in the island nation of Zanzibar.

Tanzania continues to benefit from the regional integration of the EAC. In 2020, Tanzania’s total trade with EAC partner states was US $ 1,136.9 million, or over US $ 1,003.6 million in 2019. Tanzania has a balance sheet surplus. trade since 2016, reflecting the increase in Tanzania’s exports to other partner states.

Most of the country’s exports to the region were destined for Kenya, followed by Rwanda and Uganda. Its main exports to other partner states include cereals, particularly rice and maize; cattle, edible vegetables (mainly onions); residues and waste, paper and paper products, coffee, tea and spices. On the import side, Tanzania’s significant imports came from Kenya and Uganda. Most of the imported goods were soap and soap products; pharmaceuticals, plastic articles, sweets and electrical equipment.

In addition, in 2020, total trade for the EAC region was US $ 51,915 million, compared to US $ 55,278.2 million in 2019, a decrease of 6.08%. During the same period, the EAC’s total exports increased 3.15% to $ 16,257 million, from $ 15,938 million in 2019.

President Samia Suluhu’s stance on improving bilateral relations has also resulted in an increase in intra-EAC trade during the last 9 months of her tenure.

As a signatory to the Customs Union, the country has contributed to the promotion of production efficiency within the Community. It has also strengthened national, cross-border and foreign investments in the Community.

In addition, the creation of the EAC Single Customs Territory has helped facilitate the faster clearance and movement of goods from the port of entry to destination.

Dr Mathuki also recognized the essential role played by Tanzania’s peace and security in East Africa, adding that the country’s role has been crucial in the area of ​​prevention, management and resolution. conflicts :

“Tanzania has long been home to Burundian and other refugees. Mwalimu Nyerere was at the heart of the conclusion of the Arusha Accord which brought stability to Burundi in 2000 and, again, thanks to the facilitation of the late President Mkapa, promoted the inter-Burundian dialogue between 2015 and 2019, an initiative that culminated in peaceful elections in 2020 that saw the restoration of democracy and peace. The peaceful conclusion of the 2020 elections led to the start of the peaceful return of Burundian refugees, a process that is still ongoing, ”said the Secretary General.

Dr Mathuki identified maritime security as an area where Tanzania has made a huge contribution, especially in the Indian Ocean.

“Tanzania has the longest coastline in the EAC region. By working with other coastal states, Tanzania supported the process of combating piracy and other maritime crimes which ultimately led to the restoration of security in the Indian Ocean. Thanks to its security interventions and its partnership with other like-minded states, large quantities of narcotics have been seized and destroyed and traffickers arrested and brought to justice, ”the SG said.

“On counterterrorism efforts. Tanzania has directly contributed to stability in eastern DRC where it is part of the AU Rapid Intervention Brigade which decimated the M23 rebel group and again in Mozambique as part of the d ‘SADC intervention involved in the ongoing process of uprooting Ansar al Sunna in the northern region of the southern African country, ”said Dr Mathuki.

On efforts to control the proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALW), Dr Mathuki said Tanzania is a signatory to the Nairobi Protocol on SALW and has played a central role in ensuring that initiatives to combat against SALW proliferation are implemented as part of a broader effort to ensure that only governments retain arms through supply and demand reduction efforts.

The Secretary General highlighted Tanzania’s efforts to contribute to security on Lake Victoria in cooperation with the twin lake states of Kenya and Uganda.

“Lake Victoria is a great shared economic asset for the region, the security of which is strategically important to the region. To ensure safety and security, Tanzania, which owns 56% of the lake, continued, in partnership with Kenya and Uganda, to ensure the safety and security of the lake for the benefit of those who depend on the lake. for navigation and livelihood, ”said Dr. Mathuki.

Under the Common Market Protocol, the United Republic of Tanzania was the first partner state to successfully implement the two-year deadline for the phase-out of older generation machine-readable national passports. The country started issuing EA ePassport on 31st January 2018 and completed elimination in record time on 1st January 2020.

“The 38th Extraordinary Council of Ministers noted that the two previously defined phase-out programs were not sufficient for all partner states to complete the phase-out program and extended the duration of the program by two years from September. 2019, which ended in September 2021. In this regard, the 41st ordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers, held on 29e November 2021 congratulated the United Republic of Tanzania for this achievement, ”said Dr Mathuki.

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