, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 1- The Federal Republic of Germany has committed a total Sh4.3billion in grants to the East African Community (EAC) for the period between 2016 and 2018, to support the integration process in the East Africa Region.
At least Sh1.2 billion will be invested in the establishment of a regional network of reference laboratories for communicable diseases.
With this project, the German Government responds to a request for support from the EAC for the prevention and control of epidemic outbreaks in the region.
Another Sh1.2 billion in financial assistance will be used for Integrated Water Resource Management of Lake Victoria aiming at improving water provision and management of water resources.
Sh1.9 billion in technical assistance has been committed to further support of the economic integration process, including a contribution to the EAC partnership fund.
The programme is focusing on institutional strengthening of the EAC Secretariat and on supporting the implementation of the Customs Union, Common Market Protocols and Monetary Union.
“In addition, Germany has given the EAC a permanent home by financing the construction of the new Headquarters that today houses the Secretariat ,the Court and the Assembly under one roof thus greatly easing the EAC Organs interactions and communication’’, EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Finance and Administration, Liberat Mfumukeko said.
This includes the elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers such as tax harmonisation as well as Mutual Recognition Agreements for qualifications. At the same time Germany will support the EAC in promoting private investment especially in the pharmaceutical sector, including the establishment of a regional quality infrastructure for the pharmaceutical sector.
With a view to strengthen the pandemic preparedness in the EAC, Germany had announced its willingness to provide an additional Sh348 million in technical assistance for the region`s crisis response capacity (out of special funds for 2016).
Since cooperation began in 1998 the total volume of German support to the EAC amounts to almost Sh24.7 billion. Germany also has substantial bilateral cooperation with all five EAC member states.