The four leaders, being Their Excellencies President Paul Kagame of the Republic of Rwanda; President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Republic of Kenya; President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the Republic of Uganda and President Salvar Maryardit Kiir of the Republic of South Sudan, decided that partner states adopt a harmonized system for certification and sharing of COVID-19 test results.
The leaders took note of the current status of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the region and commended the ministers responsible for health, trade, transport, and EAC affairs for their initiative in adopting a regional approach to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a subsequent announcement, the four Presidents also took note of the regional response plan and directed the ministers responsible for health, trade, transport and EAC affairs "to ensure that it complements the partner states’ national COVID-19 response plans."
The heads of state commended partner states, the World Health Organization (who) and African Centre for Disease Control (ACDC) for the efforts being made towards addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, and the steps taken to contain the disease and prevent further spread in the EAC region.
EAC heads also agreed to undertake bilateral engagements to address cross-border challenges and recognized findings of the EAC Secretariat mission that assessed the situation on clearance processes at the borders during the pandemic.
The Presidents directed partner states to prioritize regional value/supply chains to support local production of essential medical products and supplies including masks, sanitizers, soaps, coveralls, face shields, processed food and ventilators as part of efforts to combat COVID-19 in the region.
Also, in the post-COVID-19 period, countries are also directed to support agro-processing and value chains as an import substitution measure and establish special purpose financing schemes for small and medium enterprises, to cushion them from the negative effects of the pandemic.
The leaders agreed to establish special purpose financing schemes for small and medium enterprises, to cushion them from the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The statement from the meeting says “The Heads of State designated the ministers responsible for Health, Transport and East African Community affairs to be the focal persons for the regional COVID-19 response under the leadership of the Ministers of Health,”
The Heads of State directed the focal persons to immediately work on a regional mechanism for testing and certification of truck drivers prior to their departure at the point of origin and every two weeks, and report to the Heads of State.
They agreed to meet regularly to address the response efforts. And they expressed the need for flexibility in the application of the EAC rules and procedures when faced with a crisis such as the current pandemic.