EAC SECRETARY GENERAL RECEIVES FINNISH MINISTER FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT / HOLDS TALKS WITH UNIDO COUNTRY REP
ARUSHA, Tanzania, June 1, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Secretary General of the East African Community Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera today received Hon. Heidi Hautala, Minister for International Development of the Republic of Finland who paid him a courtesy call at his office in Arusha, Tanzania. Hon. Hautala, who was accompanied by the Finnish Ambassador to the United Republic of Tanzania and also Finnish Representative to the bloc HE Amb. Ms Sinikka Antila and other officials from Finland affirmed her country’s belief in regional integration and hailed the EAC as the best performing of African regional groupings. She said it was a great experience for her to be in Arusha to learn firsthand how the EAC was achieving the various milestones in such a short time.
The Finnish Minister congratulated the Secretary General and his team as well as the leadership and the people of East Africa for buying in the integration agenda. She said her country was reaping a lot of for being in the European Union.
The Secretary General, who was accompanied by his Deputy in charge of Finance and Administration Mr. Jean Claude Nsengiyumva, briefed his guests on several milestones and the quest by the East African people to attain the ultimate goal of a political federation.
Amb. Sezibera applauded Finland for its consistent support to the EAC Partnership Fund and the Lake Victoria Basin Commission. The Secretary General called for increased Finnish support in these two areas and also support to the new EAC headquarters building, which he said should be fitted with technology to move the integration agenda forward. “I wish the new building to be a cutting edge of technology to solve problems of regional integration” asserted Dr. Sezibera.
Holds Talks with UNIDO Country Rep
On the same day, Amb. Sezibera held talks with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Country Representative in the United Republic of Tanzania Mr. Emmanuel Kalenzi who called on him at his office.
The Secretary General and his guest discussed areas of cooperation between EAC and UNIDO in light of the approved EAC Industrialization Policy and Strategy (2012-2031) which provides general contours of policy intentions and strategic areas of focus to guide EAC towards achieving the set goals and in particular, attaining industrialized economic status by 2032.
The Secretary General noted that the Policy and Strategy addresses the challenges facing the region particularly, the need to build a more diversified regional economic structure. He said the draft Action Plan for implementation had been prepared and UNIDO will be called upon to intervene in some areas to operationalize the strategy.
The Secretary General said “as we unpack the policy and strategy, we are looking for support that delivers on the ground, which solves issues that our SMEs and industries are facing rather than studies and workshops”.
Mr. Kalenzi assured the EAC top official of UNIDO’s continued support to the integration agenda.
East African Community (EAC)