The East African Community (EAC) Secretary General Amb Dr Richard Sezibera has opened a two-day Regional Trade and Feed the Future Coordination Conference organized by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the EAC.
The conference, taking place at the Kibo Palace Hotel in Arusha, Tanzania is aimed at enhancing collaboration and information sharing among USAID missions and Partners to improve integration, innovation and scaling up of results, and will focus on the implementation of policy priorities and sharing lessons learned from across the region and initiatives.
Amb Sezibera said that the EAC and US government have built and sustained a mutual and strategic partnership dating back to the EAC’s inception.
“I wish to acknowledge and appreciate the tremendous contribution and investments that USAID has made in advancing regional integration particularly in the EAC Region,” he said. According to Dr Sezibera, the USAID funds various programs including trade and investment, agriculture, environment, health and institutional support.
The Secretary General disclosed that in 2015, the EAC concluded a Cooperation Agreement on Trade Facilitation, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS), and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), adding that the implementation of the agreement would strengthen the capacities and enhance competitiveness of the EAC Partner States in areas of trade and agricultural development.
Mr Mathew Rees, the USAID/Kenya and East Africa/Regional Economic Integration Office Director, hailed the efforts that the Community has made in implementing policy priorities, adding that this has promoted prosperity in the region.
Present at the conference were USAID mission staff, representatives from other US Government Agencies (USDA), implementing partners as well as officials from the Partner States.