OVER 95bn/- will be invested in a project for undertaking vaccination programmes in East Africa as well as supporting students from Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and South-Sudan on various scholarship programmes.
On Monday, the East African Community (EAC) and the Federal Republic of Germany signed an agreement for supporting health and education sectors in the region to the tune of EUR 35 million, translating into more than 95bn/-.
In appreciation and acknowledgement of the EAC's efforts to immunize every child, Germany has been supporting the immunisation programme in the region in close collaboration with the EAC and Gavi, the vaccine alliance, since 2013.
The region has made great progress in introducing new, life-saving vaccines. But according to a statement from the EAC Secretariat here, challenges remain in reaching out to children in remote areas, achieving high coverage rates for newly introduced vaccines and acceptable coverage rates in the new EAC partner state South Sudan.
Germany is thus contributing EUR 30 million to immunization programmes in the EAC. The project is successfully being implemented by Gavi, the vaccine alliance, in close collaboration with United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organisation (WHO) and the partner states' immunisation programmes.
Germany's total contribution to the EAC immunisation programmes thus amounts to a total of EUR 120 million. Germany will also contribute EURO 5 million to the EAC for a scholarship programme in cooperation with the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA).
The goal of this programme is to promote EAC's regional integration agenda by supporting higher education students and their role in fostering awareness for the East African integration process, creating social change as well as economic growth.
The scholarship programme is designed as a regional approach supporting East African students with academic talent and leadership qualities. Beyond the provision of scholarships, the EAC scholars will be actively promoted through programme activities such as regional leadership seminars and mentoring schemes.
After graduation, beneficiaries of the EAC Scholarship Programmewill become highly-skilled 'change agents' for their home communities as qualified professionals with a strong understanding of regional challenges, approaches and expertise in their respective subject fields.
"The new commitments underline that Germany continues to be a strong partner for the EAC in pushing the integration process forward. Education and health are core pillars of sustainable economic development and we are glad to be able to contribute to that in this regional context, " said Dr Detlef Wächter, German Ambassador to the EAC.
For almost two decades, Germany has been supporting the EAC through financial as well as technical cooperation. Germany's contribution to the EAC amounts to a total of almost EUR 285 million.
In his remarks, the EAC Secretary General, Ambassador Liberat Mfumukeko, noted that the EAC and the Federal Republic of Germany have been cooperating in different areas with notable achievements being realised.
"These include health and pharmaceutical sectors; trade and customs; promotion of gender and education; monetary harmonisation, institutional capacity strengthening and support to the EAC Partnership Fund;" said Mfumukeko.
The secretary general thanked Germany for her generous support to the EAC, adding that the collaboration between the two parties continues to grow and become stronger.
Witnessing the signing was the First Secretary and Head of Regional Cooperation (EAC) at the German Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Ms Norzin Grigoleit-Dagyab, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Mr Christophe Bazivamo, the DSG-Planning and Infrastructure, Eng Steven Mlote and Dr Anthony Kafumbe, the Counsel to the Community.