The US will grant USD194m to the East African Community (EAC) to improve regional integration in the EAC member states, which include Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and South Sudan.
The grant agreement was signed by representatives of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), on behalf of the US Government, and the EAC, at the EAC headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania on November 16th, 2016.
Under this agreement, the EAC and the United States will work together to:
- Advance regional economic integration.
- Increase trade and investment between member states and with the United States.
- Improve the sustainable management of natural resources in the Lake Victoria Basin and Mara River ecosystems.
- Improve access to integrated health services in border areas.
- Strengthen the EAC’s organizational leadership.
About USD30m of the total grant will fund institutional strengthening within the EAC Secretariat, while the remainder will support other development partners in their efforts to contribute to the EAC regional integration agenda.
At the signing ceremony, Virginia Blaser, Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy to Tanzania and US Representative to the EAC, said that the US supports “governments and regional bodies such as the EAC in their collaborative efforts to unlock this region’s full potential for the benefit of its people.”
The agreement is also expected to strengthen the partnership between the USAID and the EAC.
Liberat Mfumukeko, EAC Secretary General, said: “The partnership continues to expand and be strengthened through mutual development objectives and funding for programmes such as trade and investment, biodiversity, climate change, agriculture, food security, water supply and sanitation, and institutional support.”
He also said that the grant deal would deepen integration, improve cross-border risk management and strengthen regional institutions leadership and learning.
He added that the grant would support harmonization of policies and standards, and scale up technologies and best practices in trade, investment, agriculture, energy, and environmental and natural resource management.
The EAC is an intergovernmental organization composed of 6 countries with total market size of 158m people, land area of 2.42m sq km and a combined GDP of USD169.5b.
Tanzania is the largest country in the EAC and borders 4 of the EAC partner states: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.