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EAC seeks billions to fund infrastructure projects
March 11, 2018, 4:52 pm

The East African Community (EAC) needs $78 billion in the next ten years to fund more than 200 infrastructure projects in the six member states. Leaders from the EAC member states including Tanzania’s president John Magufului, Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta, South Sudan’s Salva Kiir were hosted by Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at the regional bloc’s Joint Heads of State Retreat on Infrastructure and Health Financing and Development. The leaders agreed that the revenue will be internally and externally raised through borrowing and public private partnerships.

Among the megaprojects seeking funding across the region are the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), hydropower, as well as oil and gas projects that together could amount to over $62 billion.

‘‘We owe it to ourselves and the future generations to ensure that this region has efficient, interlinked and interoperable infrastructure to enable our people to increase their prosperity through the exchange of goods and services,” President Museveni said in his opening remarks.

South Sudan President Salvatore Kiir, whose country is the newest member of the regional bloc that includes Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi, urged his counterparts to help end the civil war that has rocked his country since 2013.

The East African Community heads of state also resolved to expand access to specialized health care and cross border health services in the region to preserve the region's human capital base.

The leaders listed key health priority areas to be targeted in the next 10 years, including safe and affordable healthcare and access to efficacious and affordable medicines, vaccines and other health technologies. The leaders also agreed to establish strong primary health care systems, increase surveillance to prevent disease like malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/Aids and non-communicable diseases, as well as strengthen national medical laboratories and regional rapid response mechanisms.

Meanwhile, President Museveni hosted President Kenyatta of Kenya at the launch of a one-stop border post between the two countries that promised to enhance efficiency at the border crossing. The border post combines the traditional two stops for border processing into one, as well as consolidates other border control functions in shared spaces between the two countries for exit and entry points.

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