China is set to be a key player in the financing of key Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP), going by a recent resolution by East African Community member states.
There are 14 projects under the NCIP, including the standard gauge railway. Other aspects include ICT, oil refinery development and fast-tracking the political federation.
The 9th northern corridor summit held in Rwanda last week chose China to finance the projects. Ministers of Finance and Infrastructure were also directed to take the necessary steps to start the arrangements.
They were told to consolidate the financial requirement, structure and mainstream projects, appropriations in the financial year 2015/ 2016 and subsequent national budgets.
“The ministers are also directed to expedite the joint mission to China to source financing as per the directive for the NCIP,” read the summit’s joint communiqué.
Finance ministries in partner states are expected to coordinate funding of the projects.
The initiatives, if implemented, will have a significant impact on the lives of East Africans. South Sudan and lately Burundi will ultimately benefit from this renewed commitment to the EAC integration.
In attendance were Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) and South Sudan’s Salva Kiir.
EAC chairman and Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete, Burundi’s 2nd Vice-President Gervais Rufyikiri and Ethiopia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Tedros Adhanom attended as observers.
President Kenyatta pointed out that greater inter-connectivity of the East African region would increase the ability of member states to trade with each other.
Source: Daily Nation
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