Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

East Africa: Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda Seek Joint Power Generation Project

The leaders of Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda seek to develop a joint power generation project to increase power supply in the region, according to a final document from their meeting.

The fourth Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit in Kampala was also attended by Burundi's vice-President Geravis Rufykiri and Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin from South Sudan's ministry of foreign affairs. A Tanzanian delegation led by vice-President Mohamed Gharib Bilal attended the summit as observers.

"Work on power interconnection should be completed in the Republic of Uganda by February 2015, Republic of Kenya by March 2015 and Republic of Rwanda by April 2015," a communiqué released at the end of the meeting says.

The regional leaders also agreed to develop a common mechanism of acquiring way-leaves for not only power generation but to cover other utilities within the integration projects.

Major tripartite projects, including EA single tourism visa and use of national identity cards as travel documents which came into force on January 1, 2014 were officially launched.

The leaders also signed the Defense, Peace and Security Pact designed to strengthen regional security and partnership in the fight against terrorism, cross-border crime and other regional security threats.

President Kagame hailed the achievements made on current joint projects, saying it was encouraging. "I was very pleased to use my national ID card to come here [Kampala]. The statistics indicate that these new services are already benefiting our populations," he said.

He called on partner states to maintain and even speed up the momentum especially on core infrastructure for transport and electricity in order to complete the agreed projects for the benefit of the people in the region.

Kagame described the signed Defense, Peace and Security Pact as a significant milestone in cooperation to safeguard regional stability and fight cross-border crime.

President Museveni said with strong and focused integration, the leaders of the three countries had in a short time managed to get rid of non-tariff barriers like road blocks and multiple administrative procedures along the northern corridor.

He called on East Africans to desist from tribalism and instead focus on making bigger markets for products they produce.

On the oil pipeline to be extended to Kigali, the Presidents directed partner states to tender documents for the procurement of Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) for the Eldoret-Kampala Pipeline.

The regional leaders also agreed that Rwanda and Uganda adopt the Kenyan financing approach to fast-track joint mobilization of resources for the development of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and report to the next summit in April this year in Kenya.

The Summit was convened to review the progress on implementation of the decisions reached during the 3rd Infrastructure Summit that was held in Kigali on October 28, 2013 and to provide direction on implementing the Northern Corridor Integration Projects.

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