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EAC, Germany to sign financing agreement for SMEs

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The East African Community (EAC) Secretariat and the government of Germany are finalising a five million Euros agreement to support the small and micro enterprises sector in the bloc, the Secretary General Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko, has said.

“The aim of the project is to improve opportunities for growth for small and medium sized enterprises in East Africa. The project will be implemented in collaboration with GIZ, the German Technical Cooperation Agency, and the East African Business Council, the apex body of private sector organisations in East Africa,” Mfumukeko said.

The revelation came as the Germany Foreign Minister Heiko Mass was days ago on a working visit to Tanzania, where he held bilateral talks with  Mfumukeko. The two leaders discussed development cooperation between the Federal Republic of Germany and the EAC on regional economic integration, health, water, and institutional strengthening of the EAC Secretariat.

Addressing a media briefing after the meeting, Amb. Mfumukeko said that relations between Germany and the EAC have been strong for the past two decades.

Amb. Mfumukeko disclosed that Germany had supported the EAC to the tune of 290 million euros including funding the construction of the EAC Headquarters and that on April 9, 2018, the EAC and Germany signed a financing agreement of 5 million euros for the EAC Scholarship Programme in Berlin.

“The scholarship programme will be implemented in cooperation with Inter-University Council of East Africa and KfW, the German Development Bank. The objective of this programme is to promote EAC’s regional integration agenda by supporting higher education students and their role in fostering awareness for the East African integration, promoting social change as well as economic growth,” he said.

The financial agreement for the scholarship programme was part of the 35 million euros that will go towards supporting regional immunization.

The Secretary General further revealed that Germany’s had since 2013 contributed 120 million euros to fight child mortality through the immunization programme in the EAC.

“So far more than 60 million euros has been spent on Rota Virus, Pneumococcal and Pentavalent vaccines in the EAC Partner States. Also, many children have been vaccinated against the biggest killers of children, namely diarrhea and pneumonia,” he said.

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