Rwandan politician Christophe Bazivamo has been appointed the Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community, following recommendations of the 33rd EAC extra-ordinary Council of Ministers meeting.
The appointment of Bazivamo, a former minister in Rwanda, was made at 17 extra-ordinary meeting of the EAC Heads of State Summit held on September 8 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The meeting was attended by among others Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, John Joseph Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania (host) and Paul Kagame of Rwanda. Others were Kenya’s Deputy President William Samoei Ruto; Ambassador Alain Nyamitwe, Burundi’s foreign minister, who represented President Pierre Nkurunziza, South Sudan Special Envoy Aggrey Tisa Sabuni, who represented President Salva Kiir Mayardit and, the President of Zanzibar Ali Mohamed Shein.
During the meeting the heads of state considered a report of the Council of ministers on the EAC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), requesting that partner states be given three months to finalise clarifications of the EPA details. The Summit also urged Europe not to penalize Kenya, the only EAC partner state that had sanctioned the EPAs.
The Summit also received a report form former Tanzania president Benjamin William Mkapa, who is also the facilitator of the inter-Burundi dialogue, and asked the Council of Ministers to avail funds for the dialogue.
The delegates also congratulated South Sudan on its admission to the EAC bloc.
Meanwhile, the East African Community trade bloc will delay signing a trade agreement with the European Union, originally set for Oct.1, Tanzanian President John Magufuli said on Thursday.
“We have given ourselves three months to discuss further the signing of the EPA agreement and we will meet in January 2017 over this issue,” Magufuli, who is also the East African Community chairman, said at a meeting of fellow heads of state in Dar es Salaam
“We appeal to the EU not to punish Kenya by denying it access to the European market,” he added.
Kenya stands to lose the most without the agreement. Other member states – including Tanzania, Burundi, Uganda – would continue getting duty- and quota-free access under EU’s Everything But Arms initiative, since they are classified as least developed countries.