Economic competition delaying EAC integration -MPs

Published by Daily Nation
On 6 September 2016 saa 02:31
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Fear of economic competition among countries is one of the barriers to East Africa Community integration.

Members of the National Assembly committee on regional integration said some countries in the region are at a “lower production level” than others.

The committee’s vice chair Christopher Nakuleu said the EAC member states need to address the issue of economic status of the countries to speed up integration.

“Before the integration was introduced, countries were operating on different production levels. For instance the GDP of Burundi is 11 times less than Kenya. This disparity poses a major challenge,” Mr Nakuleu said.

They observed that past perceptions that led to collapse of East Africa community in 1977 have also contributed to lack of commitment by some member states to the integration.

“Re-introduction of East Africa community was meant to encourage competitiveness among member states. This will not only improve regional economy but foster unity,” said the Turkana North MP.

The committee members also accused some countries of derailing the regional incorporation by failing to implement some projects.

They said Kenya is lagging behind in putting up some structures to facilitate integration saying Uganda has completed similar projects.

The committee members were inspecting implementations of cross border projects on the Kenya-Uganda border.

Kisumu County Women Representative Rose Nyamunga challenged member states to educate citizens on benefits of integration.

“There are challenges that are yet to be fully addressed like insecurity. Citizens of most (EAC) countries are ye t to fully embrace the integration due to fear of unknown,” he said

Other MPs present included David Ochieng (Ugenya) and Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo).

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Turkana North MP Christopher Nakuleu. He is among MPs who visited EAC integration projects on the Kenya-Uganda border.