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Germany commits to deepening collaboration with EAC

Germany has committed to continue collaborating with the East African Community (EAC) by supporting regional development programmes and strengthening the integration process.

This follows a virtual joint steering committee meeting by the EAC- German Development Cooperation meeting held today.

The meeting was steered by EAC Secretary General Dr. Peter Mathuki and Mr. Johannes Sperrfechter, Head of German Regional Cooperation at the German Embassy in the United Republic of Tanzania.

Welcoming the German delegation, Mathuki expressed his appreciation for their long-standing support and cooperation with EAC. 

“Germany has walked the integration journey with the EAC for over 20 years, providing extensive technical and financial support to critical projects and programmes that have advanced the regional integration agenda,” he said.

Mathuki highlighted the key areas of cooperation to include trade and economic infrastructure, technical and vocational education and training and health and pandemic preparedness.

He called for close coordination among the EAC, the German Development Cooperation and other Institutions involved in the implementation of projects and programmes through regular consultative engagements.

“A results-oriented approach in supporting EAC coupled by good governance on our end, will further enhance the regional integration agenda,” he said.

He informed the delegation that the EAC is pushing to have a regional coordinated and harmonized approach in handling Covid-19 discussed as one of the agenda items in the upcoming Heads of State Summit.

On his part, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of the Productive and Social Sectors, Christophe Bazivamo, said that despite Covid-19 disrupting business, EAC´s partnership with German Development Cooperation had resulted in significant gains.

“Through the support of mobile labs deployed for Covid testing in Partner States, the turnaround time has significantly reduced from 72 hours to 8 hours on average,” he said.

Currently, more than 400,000 tests have been conducted and 176 experts trained in the mobile laboratory while data collection for Covid-19 rapid diagnostics tests validation and sequencing studies have already started in Partner States.

On his part, Mr. Sperrrfechter, the Head of German Regional Cooperation at the German Embassy in Tanzania, commended the EAC on its spirited fight in pushing for a regional coordinated approach in handling Covid-19.

“Germany is committed to deepening collaboration with the EAC to reap the fruits of the regional integration. Stronger synergies and collaboration are critical for the ordinary citizens of East Africa to feel the impact of the regional integration,” he said.

The meeting also discussed the need for building capacity in preparing Partner States to take advantage of the African Continent Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), progress on the development of a regional e-commerce strategy, training and capacity building opportunities and working amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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