The Star (Nairobi)

East Africa: Information Gap Holding Back EAC Integration

LACK of public information on the operations of the East Africa Community has been blamed for the slow integration among member states.

The Minster of East African Community, Musa Sirma in a speech read by the ministry's senior deputy secretary Henry Obino, said this has caused East Africans not to fully appreciate opportunities and benefits of integration.

"Integration is people and private sector driven but such ignorance is not conducive to public ownership and endorsement especially to the youth," Sirma said at a two day National Youth Leaders Workshop sponsored by his ministry the Kenya Tanzania border town of Isebania.

The workshop brought together 250 young traders from Migori County. The participants blamed harassment by both Kenyan and Tanzanian police and revenue officers at the border point as one of the major impediments to integration.

They said that even after the 2010 Common Market Protocol that allowed free movement of goods, services, persons and labour they still face numerous check points and harassment which has hindered trade.

Sirma said have embarked on a national awareness campaign to sensitise Kenyans on the progress towards EAC integration which will increase trade, infrastructure and investment opportunities.

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