At the invitation of H.E Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Republic of Kenya, H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, H.E Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, H.E. James Wani Igga, Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, attended the 8th Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit on 11th December 2014, in Nairobi, Kenya.
In attendance were Hon. Mrs. Leontine Nzeyima, Minister for East African Affairs of the Republic of Burundi, Hon. Habtamu Baye Chekole, Special Envoy of the President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Hon. Samuel Sita, Minister for East African Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr. Richard Sezibera, Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC), and the Executive Secretary of the Northern Corridor Transit Transport Coordination Authority.
The Heads of State noted with appreciation the progress registered and renewed their commitment to fast-tracking the implementation of the Infrastructure Projects for transforming the Northern Corridor.
The Heads of State expressed their solidarity with H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta and the People of Kenya and condemned the heinous acts of brutality and terror committed by the Al Shabaab in Mandera. They further extended warm appreciation to the Government of Kenya for the excellent preparations for the Summit and congratulated the People of Kenya on the occasion of the 51st Independence Anniversary.
The Heads of State noted the commencement of the use of the National IDs in Uganda and its use as a travel document within the region which will greatly ease the movement of the people.
The Heads of State appreciated the conclusion of the Power Purchase and Wheeling Agreements and the signed MOU on Management of Northern Corridor Air Space bloc. They noted the contribution these will deliver in the development of the Infrastructure for Transmission, Power Trade, and reduction in the cost of air travel in the region.
The Heads of State directed the Minister of Infrastructure of Rwanda to convene a meeting of Airline Industry Stakeholders to finalise negotiations on the 5th Freedom Traffic Rights on Entebbe-Nairobi-Juba-Nairobi by 31st December 2014 and address all outstanding issues to reduce the cost of air travel in the region and report to the next Summit.
The Heads of State considered the Ministerial Report, endorsed the recommendations contained therein and directed as follows:
The Summit further directed the removal of all Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) and emphasised the need for compliance by all parties. The Revenue Authorities were directed to expedite mutual accreditation and training of all clearing agents on the upgraded Single Customs Territory Systems operated by Revenue Authorities of the Partner States by end of January 2015. It was also further directed that cargo overstayed at the Port of Mombasa shall be granted full waiver of customs warehouse rent and port demurrage charges to facilitate removal within 60 days from date of publication of notice in the East African Newspaper.
The Summit further directed the Ministers to operationalize the One Network Area for SMS, Data and Mobile Financial Services and implement the framework developed by the cluster to fast-track virus Projects.
H. On Refined Petroleum Products Pipeline Development, the Summit directed Ministers of Finance to urgently source funds for land acquisition within their territories for the project.
The Summit further directed the Ministers to facilitate formation of National and Regional Associations and/or Cooperatives that work with Standards Bodies, Regulators and other stakeholders to implement the standards for commodities and warehouses.
The Summit further directed that all quarterly visa fee collections be remitted on the 15th day of the following month.
The Summit further directed the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, to join the Defence, Peace and Security cluster and particularly develop a Comprehensive Conflict and Dispute Resolution Mechanism and report to the next Summit.
a) Ministers are directed to ensure adequate representation, participation and adherence to set timelines in all cluster meetings and projects and complete their reports two weeks to the Summit.
b) Noting the importance of land in the implementation of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects, the Summit directed creation of a land cluster coordinate acquisition of way-leaves for the Northern Corridor Integration Projects.
The next Summit will be held in Kigali, Rwanda on February 2015.
Source: The New Times
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