President Kenyatta vows of United EAC as he takes over regional chair

President Uhuru Kenyatta took over as chairman of the East African Community (EAC) on Saturday, promising to make the region more unified and prosperous.

The President confirmed that he would put in every effort to ensure that the community’s mutual hopes, which were renewed 20 years ago, are achieved

“Thank you for showing confidence, faith and trust in me. I promise to do all I can to take our region to greater heights,” he proclaimed after taking over from Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame.

He registered his words in the 21st Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The President paid glowing tribute to Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi and Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa, remembering the role they played in the EAC’s rebirth two decades ago with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

Mr Kenyatta outlined his vision for the region, stating that he would concentrate on improving intra-EAC connectivity and ensuring the long-term implementation of projects and programs in the productive sectors.

“It is desirable that the objectives of the Customs Union, Common Market and Monetary Union, and easier cross-border movement of goods, people and services, is realised,” he said.

He stressed the importance of partner countries’ commitments to free movement of citizens, staff, and services, as outlined in the region’s common market protocol.

In this regard, President Kenyatta declared that, as a gesture of goodwill, Kenya would no longer need visas for South Sudanese nationals visiting the country

President Kenyatta presided over the appointment of six new judges to the East African Court of Justice, including Kenyan Justice Kathurima M’inoti, who will serve in the EA Court of Justice’s appellate division.

President Kagame congratulated President Kenyatta on his assumption of the EAC chairmanship and welcomed Dr. Mathuki as the new EAC secretary-general as he handed over the reins to him.

President Museveni and Evariste Ndayishimiye (Burundi) were among the other speakers.

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