Kenya, Ug want EAC integration fast tracked

January 17, 2010

, KAMPALA, Jan 17 – Kenya and Uganda have affirmed their commitment to the East African regional integration.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and his Ugandan counterpart Prof Gilbert Bukenya said in Kampala on Saturday that there was need to fast track the integration process.

Mr Musyoka envisioned the regions artificial borders as unnecessary barriers that will soon be abandoned in favor of free movement of citizens, goods and services and a roaring cross border investments and trade.

"Artificial borders must give way to a more empowered, free moving East Africans who are capable of working and investing in Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda" he said.

Prof Gilbert Bukenya saw the sharing of a common flag and currency in the future and praised the cordial relationship between Kenya and Uganda.

"Why can\’t we share a common flag and why can\’t we have a common currency.
No one can tell the difference of a Kenyan and a Ugandan on the streets of London" posed the Ugandan leader.

Mr Musyoka noted that the people of East Africa are linked together geographically, economically and culturally and their future survival lies in integrating their economies and boosting cross-border trade.

"Kenya values her bilateral relations with Uganda and will do everything within her power to keep the ties warm and strong," he emphasised.

The Kenyan VP spoke at a dinner hosted in his honour by Prof Bukenya

"We have come to Kampala to affirm our strategic relations. Uganda remains Kenya\’s number one trading partner. Mombasa remains your sea port of choice and the Kenya-Uganda railway continue to bind us economically," said Mr Musyoka.

Prof Bukenya said even though trade between his country and Kenya was heavily in favour of Kenya by 400 million dollars, the gap was narrowing rapidly.

The Kenyan delegation will visit power projects and hold meetings with members of the Ugandan business community and later meet President Yoweri Museveni.

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