The 20th Ordinary Meeting of the Summit of the East African Community Heads of State that was slated for November 30, 2018 at the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) in Arusha, Tanzania has been postponed to a later date.
Making the announcement at the AICC’s Simba Hall, the Chairperson of the EAC Council, Kirunda Kivejinja, said that the Summit would not take place due to a lack of quorum caused by the absence of Burundi.
“According to Rule 11 of the Rules of Procedure of the Summit of the EAC Heads of State, quorum is made of all Partner States representation which is in consonance with decision making by consensus under Article 12 of the Treaty,” Kivejinja, who is also Uganda’s 2nd Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of EAC Affairs.
The decision to postpone the 20th Ordinary Summit was taken by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda; President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya; President Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli of Tanzania; Paul Moyom Akec, Minister of Trade, Industry and EAC Affairs representing South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit, and; Dr. Richard Sezibera, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, representing Rwandan President Paul Kagame, all of whom were present at the meeting venue in Arusha.
“The Heads of State regret the inconveniences caused to the distingushed delegates and guests,” said Kivejinja.
The Summit meeting was preceded by the 38th Meeting of the Council of Ministers which was also not attended by the Republic of Burundi.
Among the items which were on the Provisional Agenda of the 20th Summit of the EAC Heads of State were: the status of ratification of various protocols; the status of resolution of long outstanding non-tariff barriers, and; the progress report on the adoption of Political Confederation as a Transitional Model to the East African Political Federation.
Other items on the Agenda were: the roadmap for the accelerated integration of the Republic of South Sudan into the EAC, and; the verification exercise for the admission of the Republic of Somalia into the Community.
The Summit was also to consider reports on modalities for the promotion of Motor Vehicle Assembly in East Africa aimed at reducing importation of used vehicles into the Community, and; the review of the textile and leather sector with a view to developing a strong and competitive domestic sector that gives consumers better choice than imported textile and footwear.
The Summit was also to review a progress report by the Council of Ministers on the Summit Directive on having two (2) Deputy Secretaries General at the Community recruited competitively on a rotational basis among the Partner States.
The Summit had been expected to assent to various Bills passed by the East Legislative Assembly, namely: the EAC Polythen Materials Control Bill, 2016; the Administration of the East African Court of Justice Bill, 2018; the EAC Monetary Institute Bill, 2018, and; the EAC Customs Management (Amendment) Bill, 2018.