Kampala — President Pierre Nkurunziza has said that a greater internal market was necessary to increase the East African Community's share in global trade and economy and to spur new jobs for citizens of the region.
"We need to maintain the momentum of integration gathered by paying more attention to the drivers of integration while greater internal market was necessary to increase the share in global trade and economy and to spur new jobs for citizens of the region, he said at the opened the fourth meeting of the first session of the third East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) at the Burundi National Assembly, Bujumbura, Burundi last week.
He added that the region should embark on value addition initiatives in agriculture through transformation and conservation, noting that it would boost up to 95% of the region's population who thrive on the sector.
"In this respect there is need to address factors that limit or constrain the construction of a larger EAC internal market in order to increase the share in global trade and economy, indeed a larger internal market can help create new jobs for the youth, and raise the standards of living of our Peoples,".
"This move will certainly boost higher intra-regional trade and raise the standards of living of our peoples", the President remarked.
He called on the EAC to re-focus on the opening up of its borders, the removal of Non-Tariff Barriers and the enhancement of trade facilitation initiatives and noted that implementation of a single Customs Territory was 'key in making a difference' for the region.
"The EAC integration is in the eyes of analysts, one of the best models of integration. We must commit to keep the standards and the records high.