Arusha — The United States Agency for Development (USAID) has met with officials of the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat to operationalize the five-year Regional Development Objectives Grant Agreement (RDOAG) they received last year.
"RDOAG provides for changes in the way USAID will do its business; strengthen USAID-EAC Partnership; stronger collaboration, coordination and communication, and institutional strengthening," said Candace Buzzard, USAID's Deputy Mission Director for Kenya and East Africa.
USAID granted EAC US$194 million under the RDOAG which was launched in November last year, money is meant to be spent on shared development goals over the next five years.
The money is to benefit sectors funded under the RDOAG which include among others health, environment, natural resources, climate change, trade, security and energy.Buzzard said USAID will coordinate more closely with the EAC to ensure better delivery of project goals.
"USAID's gesture had sent a strong signal of its desire to support the Community attain its goals," said, the EAC Secretary General, Ambassador Libérat Mfumukeko.
Mfumukeko said USAID's contribution would enable the Community to achieve many things. He said of the US$194 million, about US$30 million will finance institutional strengthening within the EAC Secretariat while the remainder will support other development partners in their efforts to contribute to the EAC regional integration agenda.
The Secretary General said that the new EAC-USAID Regional Development Objective Grant Agreement (RDOAG) 2016-2021 would deepen integration, improve cross-border risk management and strengthen regional institutions leadership and learning. He added that the RDOAG would support harmonization of policies and standards, and scale up technologies and best practices in trade, investment, agriculture, energy, and environmental and natural resource management.
Under this agreement, the EAC and the United States will work together to advance regional economic integration,) increase trade and investment between member states and with the United States, improve the sustainable management of natural resources in the Lake Victoria Basin and Mara River ecosystems, (iv) improve access to integrated health services in border areas and (iv) strengthen the EAC's organizational leadership.