The East African Community (EAC) has secured a lion's share of funding from development partners that will be used in the improvement of energy and infrastructure in the region.
In his press briefing held here on Monday, EAC Secretary General Ambassador Libérat Mfumukeko revealed that the African Development Fund (AfDB) and the African Development Bank (ADB) had approved 5.7trilion for the implementation of new and ongoing priority infrastructure projects in the region.
The funds will go towards enhancing regional transport connectivity, regional energy infrastructure, ICT connectivity and management of trans-boundary water resources, according to the EAC boss.
"The bank will also support projects aimed at accelerating implementation of the EAC single market, trade development including tackling of non-tariff barriers, and putting in place policy frameworks for industrialization and the regional promotion as single investment destination," explained Ambassador Mfumukeko.
The EAC Secretary General pointed out that it was no mean feat for the Secretariat to land the deal.
He revealed that all the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) were all competing for the funding from the continental bank.
"I wish to bring to your attention to the fact that the EAC and other RECs were all competing for the AfDB funding from an envelope of about 9.2trillion, out of this envelop, the EAC banked 5.7trillion from it, more than 50 per cent of what all RECs were competing for," he disclosed.
According to Ambassador Mfumukeko, it was worth and gratifying to note that in 2018, the EAC Secretariat had reached a new record of resources mobilized within one year.
"Given this scenario, it is now evident that our development partners have restored their faith in us, we are looking forward to mobilizing more resources for development projects in our region, come 2019."
Some of the major projects earmarked for this year include the construction of the Malindi-Mombasa- Tanga- Bagamoyo highway to the tune of 741bn/-, also through an AfDB funding.
The construction of the key stretch which connects Tanzania's and Kenya's coastal cities is set begin in the first quarter of 2019.
The transnational highway, which measures 450 kilometer-long is expected to pass by Malindi-Mombasa and Lunga Lunga and cross the Kenyan border and pass through Tanzania's (Tanga)- Pangani and Saadani to Bagamoyo.
The move is touted to be a major milestone in terms trade and above all raise the standards of the transport and energy sectors in both countries.