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OPENING REMARKS BY HONOURABLE SAMUEL JOHN SITTA (MP), MINISTER OF EAST AFRICAN COOPERATION DURING THE 30th MEETING OF THE EAC COUNCIL OF MINISTERS

OPENING REMARKS BY HONOURABLE SAMUEL JOHN SITTA (MP), MINISTER OF EAST AFRICAN COOPERATION DURING THE 30th MEETING OF THE EAC COUNCIL OF MINISTERS

 

My Colleagues Honourable Ministers,

Hon. Secretary General, Amb. Dr Richard Sezibera,

Members of the Coordination Committee,

Diplomatic Corps Present,

Senior Officials,

Invited Observers and Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

 

At the outset, allow me to express my sincere gratitude for the warm and friendly welcome by the people and government of Kenya extended to me and my delegation.

 

Honorable Ministers, I wish to offer my sincere, heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to my colleague former Chairperson of the Council of Ministers, Hon Phyllis Kandie, for steering well this Community during the last one year. Indeed, he has taken the Community to the higher level on projects and programmes for the betterment of the people in our region. She has been instrumental in uniting people of East African and always ensured that we live in peace and assured security.

 

Honorable Ministers, the United Republic of Tanzania is taking over Chairmanship knowing the challenges ahead of us, particularly in ensuring that we keep on rolling what the Republic of Kenya started. The key focus for the year ahead will be on the implementation of the Single Customs Union, the Common Market and the Monetary Union. This necessitates the elimination of non-tariff barriers and amendment of National Laws to conform to the requirements of the Common Market Protocol in order to allow East Africans enjoy the freedoms we have agreed.

 

Honorable Ministers, it is no secret that some people within and outside the Community are skeptical about the future of our integration. I wish to assure them that our region is still united and will continue to be given the history and uniqueness of our integration. I wish to give them comfort and assurance that EAC is safe, united and secure than the ship anchoring at the harbor. Our motto of One People, One Destiny is still alive and vibrant and whatever challenges that will emerge, we will work together to address them before they become a problem.

 

In that regard, it is our fervent hope that through dialogue and consultations with Organs and Institutions of Community we will be able to allay these fears and allow 150millions East Africa participates in programmes of Community without fears.

 

In our endeavor to build more confidence to the people of East Africa, I urge Partner States and the Secretariat that let us move with the general public by enhancing publicity and sensitization on our achievements in the regional projects and programmes.

 

Honourable Ministers, the 30th meeting of the Council comes at the time of tremendous activities and notable progress in the regional programmes, I wish to extend my appreciation to the Secretariat of the Community for their support. I request my colleagues to work objectively as we always do to push goals of the Community to higher level.

 

I wish this meeting successful deliberations.

 

Aksanteni sana.