Arush: The Danish Ambassador to the United Republic of Tanzania and EAC, His Excellence Einar H. Jensen has paid a courtesy call on the Secretary General of the East African Community, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko in his office at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
The two officials discussed a wide range of issues geared towards taking forward and realizing the noble objective of “people-centred” regional integration. They conferred on issues pertaining to strengthening bilateral relations between EAC and Denmark; Danish support to regional integration initiatives; status of EPA negotiations; Burundi peace process; and the steps EAC was taking to strengthen operations of the Partnership Fund.
Welcoming his guest to the EAC Headquarters, the Secretary General noted the strong bond that exist between the Danish people and the East African Community. He also briefed the Danish Envoy on the reforms instituted at the EAC Organs and Institutions meant to cut on cost and improve performance, which were already showing some positive results. The Secretary General hailed the Development Partners for their growing confidence in the regional integration efforts and the EAC leadership.
On his part, His Excellence Einar H. Jensen reiterated the importance of the EAC in furthering regional integration efforts and re-affirmed the commitment of Denmark to the MoU signed between Denmark and EAC in August 2016, in which Denmark will provide additional Danish Krone (DKK) 7 million to support the regional integration agenda.
Amb. Jensen noted that long term development of each EAC economy was influenced by the success of the regional integration efforts and that individual EAC economies were too small to compete effectively in international markets.
“To sustain higher growth, they need to expand, specialize and integrate to achieve economies of scale”, reiterated Amb. Jensen, adding that “the integration process supports deregulation, harmonization of rules and regulations and reduction of non-tariff barriers. This reduces trade costs which will benefit EAC businesses as well as Danish businesses with an interest in the region”.
The Danish Envoy noted that restrictions still remain on the free movement of goods, persons, labour, capital, and services in the region and there was need for stronger coordination and cooperation between the Partner States on economic, trade and industrial policies. “EAC institutions are becoming stronger and need to be further developed, as well as substantial investments in infrastructure are needed to sustain the integration agenda”, said Amb. Jensen.