New Vision (Kampala)

East Africa: EAC Presidents to Discuss S. Sudan Admission

Discussions on East Africa's Infrastructure will be a top item on the agenda for the five presidents of the East African Community states as they convene in Nairobi later this week.

The other major consideration will be a council report on South Sudan's application to join the East African Community.

The presidents will be meeting this Friday November 30, in Nairobi, Kenya for the 14th ordinary summit of heads of state.

But the summit will be preceded by a presidential retreat on infrastructure on Thursday 29 November and the launch ceremonies of the new EAC headquarters and the rehabilitated Arusha-Namanga-Athi River Road, in Arusha and Athi River town respectively.

A statement from the EAC secretariat says both ceremonies will take place on Wednesday 28 November.

"At Friday's summit meeting, the heads of state are expected to consider the annual report of the council of ministers for the period November 2011, November 2012, a progress report of the council of ministers on the operationalization of the single customs territory," read the statement.

Among the other items due for consideration are reports of the council of ministers on the way forward on the political federation as well as on the implementation of the summit's directive on extending the jurisdiction of the East African Court of Justice.

A meeting of the Council of Ministers in preparation for the Summit concluded on Tuesday in Nairobi.

Thereafter the presidents are expected to proceed to Tanzania to officially open the newly constructed EAC headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania before launching the rehabilitated Arusha-Namanga-Athi River Road in Athi River Town in Kenya.

Since 2008, the heads of state have identified infrastructure as a major enabler of development of the region's integration and overall socio-economic development.

Again emphasis will be on priority regional infrastructure projects as well as funding options.

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