EAC completes 35 priority infrastructure projects

06Jul 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
EAC completes 35 priority infrastructure projects

THE East African Community (EAC) has completed 35 priority infrastructure development projects out of the identified 286 projects.

A statement by EAC stated that the completed projects are now operational.

The EAC Heads of State Joint Retreat on Infrastructure and Health Financing and Development held in Kampala, Uganda in February, 2018 approved a set of 286 priority infrastructure projects in various sectors for joint promotion and coordinated implementation by the partner states.

The 16th meeting of the EAC Sectoral Council on Transport, Communication and Meteorology (TCM) held in Kampala this week was informed that the completed projects are in diverse sectors including railways, ports, roads, energy and airports.

The five-day meeting which was opened by Eng Steven Mlote, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Infrastructure and Planning, was chaired by Eng Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye, Rwanda's Minister of State in-charge of Transport.

The completed projects are, rehabilitation of the 270 km Malaba-Kampala railway; construction of the 472 km Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway line, development of the Lake Nyasa Ports – Itungi, Kiwira and Ndumbi, construction of the 454 km of 20- inch diameter, Mombasa – Nairobi refined petroleum oil products pipeline, and Taxiways rehabilitation and construction of new semi full parallel taxiway, apron rehabilitation and expansion, refurbishment of Passenger Terminal Building at Kilimanjaro International Airport, Tanzania.

The statement said that 106 projects (36 percent) of all the projects are at advanced stage of implementation having secured funding for construction or being at tendering and construction stages.

However, 60 projects are still at early stages of the cycle being either at concept or preliminary studies stage.

The EAC Sectoral Council on Transport, Communication and Meteorology further approved a 10-year roadmap for the implementation of the remaining EAC Heads of State priority projects.

On communication, the TCM reiterated its earlier directives to Burundi and the United Republic of Tanzania that are yet to implement the EAC Roaming Framework to do so.

The Roaming Framework which provides for the harmonisation of mobile calling and data charges has so far only been implemented by Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda.

The initial deadline by the EAC Heads of State Summit for the implementation of the roaming framework was 2015.

On the Tripartite Vehicle Load Management Agreement bringing together EAC, SADC and COMESA, the TCM agreed that all partner states maintain zero percent tolerance on Gross Vehicle Weight.

The meeting further directed partner states to enforce the provisions of the EAC Vehicle Loda Control Act, 2016 with respect to weigh-bridge standards.

The EAC Vehicle Load Act, 2016 (EAC VLC Act, 2016) has been a core for harmonisation of the Tripartite Road Transport Legal Instruments of Vehicle Load Management Agreement (VLMA) and Multilateral Cross Border Road Transport Agreement (MCBRTA).

Whereas the proposed VLMA to a large extent, addressed most of the contents of EAC VLC Act, 2016, the disagreement remain on level of tolerances on Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). The EAC VLC Act, 2016 is for the zero tolerance while the TTTFP VLMA recommends for the 2% tolerance.

The meeting was attended by Ambassador Aziz Mlima, Tanzania's High Commissioner to Uganda, Burundi's Minister to the Office of the President responsible for EAC Affairs, Isabelle Ndahayo, Uganda's Minister of State for Works and Transport, Edward Katumba Wamala and Julius Kiplangat Korir, Kenya's Principal Secretary for Infrastructure.