France has hailed ongoing reforms to promote more prudent use of resources and efficiency at the East African Community Secretariat.
French Ambassador to the EAC, Ms Malika Berak, pledged her country’s willingness to provide support to the ongoing Inter-Burundi Dialogue.
Amb Berak reaffirmed France’s commitment to the success of the mediation which is aimed at promoting peace, reconciliation and security in Burundi. The Inter-Burundi Dialogue is being facilitated by Benjamin William Mkapa, former President of Tanzania with support from the EAC Secretariat.
Amb Berak said that France as a member of the European Union knew that regional integration initiatives were full of challenges hence the country’s desire to work closely to promote integration in East Africa.
She described as timely and long overdue the reforms being undertaken by the EAC Secretariat to promote fiscal efficiency and accountability.
The French Ambassador made the remarks when she paid a courtesy call on the EAC Secretary General, Amb Liberat Mfumukeko, at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
In response, Amb Mfumukeko said the EU and France were some of the largest contributors of financial support to the Community.
Amb Mfumukeko said the Inter-Burundi Dialogue was well on course with the next round of talks due to be held in Arusha, Tanzania this month.
Amb Mfumukeko said the EAC was committed to improving in terms of performance and delivery on its mandate of driving the integration process forward, adding that he had dedicated his first two months in office to putting in place reforms at the Secretariat.
“We are in the process of deep thinking, looking afresh at our priorities, appropriate allocation of resources, our budgeting and planning process, and seeking to learn from Brexit,” said the Secretary General.
He said the EAC was in the process of re-engineering itself in addition to re-energizing its staff for purposes of increasing productivity, adding that the Community would be receptive to ideas from Partner States, Development Partners and all stakeholders in the integration process on how to undertake the reforms.
Also present at the meeting were Mr. Philippe Boncour, Counsellor and Head of Cooperation and Cultural Affairs at the French Embassy in Dar es Salaam, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation Mr Charles Njoroge and other senior EAC officials.