The Kingdom of Belgium has appointed, Ambassador Peter Van Acker to United Republic of Tanzania and will also serve as Belgium’s Permanent Representative to the East African Community as an observer.
Amb Van Acker presented his letter of credence to EAC Secretary General, Amb Liberat Mfumukeko, during a brief ceremony held at the EAC headquarters in Arusha.
Amb. Van Acker said that his appointment was out of his government’s commitment to deepen its cooperation with the EAC, noting that the significance of regional integration is not only for East Africans, but also an important source of growth for the continent as well.
The Belgium envoy expressed delight at the accreditation commenting that Belgium has very good relations with the EAC member states.
In his remarks, the EAC Secretary General, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko warmly welcomed the Belgium Envoy to the EAC and briefed him on the current achievements in the pillars of the regional integration and development process.
He noted that Belgium has an intimate knowledge of the region and added that the EAC is looking forward to scaling up cooperation with the country.
Meanwhile, the EAC Secretary-General Amb. Mfumukeko received the Mission Director for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mr. Mark Meassick who paid a courtesy visit to him at the EAC Headquarters. The Kenya and East Africa USAID Director was accompanied by Program Advisor, Regional Intergovernmental Organization, Ms Mimi Steward.
In receiving the Mission Director, Amb Mfumukeko thanked USAID for its continued support and strong partnership. Reiterating on the importance of regional integration as a means to access regional markets and gain competition advantages in efficiency and productivity outputs.
“These elements can only be realised by having no restrictions on the movement of goods, services, labour and capital within the East Africa,” noted Amb. Mfumukeko
Speaking during the discussion Director Meassick acknowledged the efforts that the Community has made to access trade, adding that “this has not only promoted prosperity in those regions, but has also delivered better livelihoods to their communities, thus putting EAC in the forefront as a model for Integration“.
The United States of America through USAID has been a key Development Partner of the EAC integration process to different Project and Programmes including; Assistance Agreement for Comprehensive Regional Development (AA-CRD) to the tune of US$23,230,800 from Oct. 2011 to Sept. 2019 and Regional Development Objectives Grant Agreement (RDOAG) to the tune of US$30,000,000 from Sept. 2016 to Sept. 2021.