President Yoweri Museveni has called for reduction of transport, electricity and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tariffs in a bid to spur development in the East African Community (EAC) countries.
Speaking at the EAC Heads of State Summit at Speke Resort Munyonyo, Museveni noted that railway transport is the most advantageous, adding that Uganda is embarking on the process of repairing the old railway line to Kenya and around other lines in the country.
The summit, anchored on financing infrastructure, health sector and reviewing the progress on implementation of priority projects agreed upon by member’s states, is also attended by Presidents Salva Kiir of South Sudan; Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and John Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania.
“In Uganda, I am insisting the final cost of electricity per unit must not go above 8 US cents. With the completed Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), transport will cost 8 US cents per metric tons compared to 21 cents per metric tons on the road,” Mr. Museveni said.
He also called for increased water transportation, noting that use on water bodies such as Lake Victoria is yet to be boosted by the introduction of ferries.
“Water is cheaper than the railway, which is cheaper than the road, which is also cheaper than air transport, high electricity tariffs, transport and internet costs have retarded industrialization in the region. Africa is incredibly rich but wasteful,” Museveni added.