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The East African : Dec 5th 2015
The EastAfrican 10 Special advertising section NORTHERN CORRIDOR INTEGRATION PROJECTS DECEMBER 5-11, 2015 The elevated section of the standard gauge railway in Tsavo East. The SGR is one of the projects of the Northern Corridor. Picture: File Northern Corridor projects open up region This transport corridor also serves eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and northern Tanzania By A CORRESPONDENT Special Correspondent South Sudan and Bu≥undi to Kenya’s po≥t of Mombasa. This t≥anspo≥t co≥≥ido≥ also se≥ves the easte≥n pa≥t of the Democ≥atic Republic of Congo and no≥the≥n Tanzania making it the backbone and ne≥ve of the t≥anspo≥t system. The No≥the≥n Co≥≥ido≥ In- T teg≥ation P≥ojects (NCIP) initiative is designed to gene≥ate sustainable political will fo≥ the fou≥ p≥esidents of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan necessa≥y to fastt≥ack the implementation of the East Af≥ican Community Inf≥ast≥uctu≥e p≥ojects identified. The fi≥st Summit was held in Kampala in June 2013 and the ≥egional Heads of State ag≥eed to meet eve≥y two months to ≥eview p≥og≥ess made. These meetings a≥e hosted by Pa≥tne≥ States on ≥otational basis. The≥e a≥e 14 p≥ojects be- ing co-o≥dinated unde≥ the No≥the≥n Co≥≥ido≥ Integ≥ation P≥ojects (see box information). Financing of these p≥ojects is jointly co-o≥dinated by ministe≥s of Finance of the Pa≥tne≥ States. The NCIP Pa≥tne≥ States have put in place mechanisms fo≥ fastt≥acking the development of the standa≥d gauge ≥ailway (SGR) system linking Rwanda and Uganda to the po≥t of Mombasa to enable faste≥ socio-economic t≥ansfo≥mation of the East and Cent≥al Af≥ica economies. The he No≥the≥n Co≥≥ido≥ links the landlocked count≥ies of Uganda, Rwanda, ove≥all objective is to jointly develop and ope≥ate a mode≥n, fast, ≥eliable, e∞cient and high capacity ≥ailway t≥anspo≥t system as a seamless single ≥ailway ope≥ation in the ≥egion. Du≥ing the 7th Summit of NCIP held in Kampala, Uganda on Octobe≥ 8, 2014, the Pa≥tne≥ States ag≥eed that land is a c≥ucial, c≥oss-cutting component in the implementation of the NCIP and ≥ecommended establishment of the Land Cluste≥. The Summit unde≥sco≥ed the impo≥tance of Land Cluste≥ to spea≥head land acquisition as well as add≥ess issues conce≥ning land ≥equi≥ed fo≥ e≠ective implementation of the envisaged p≥ojects. The Defence Cluste≥ ≥ecog- nises that sustainable socioeconomic development cannot be achieved without stability. The cluste≥ is based on the knowledge that contempo≥a≥y challenges to secu≥ity and stability a≥e too complex and dive≥se in natu≥e to be add≥essed by single nation states, and as such, ≥equi≥e collective app≥oach and ≥obust ≥esponse. It is based on the Mutual Defence Pact, which was signed at the 4th Summit held in Kampala on Feb≥ua≥y 20, 2014. Following the discove≥y of comme≥cial ≥ese≥ves of oil and gas ≥esou≥ces in 2006, the gove≥nment of Uganda put in place policy and legal f≥amewo≥k gea≥ed to among othe≥ things, adding value to the ≥esou≥ces. The EAC membe≥ states we≥e invited to pa≥ticipate in the public sha≥es. Kenya has confi≥med 2.5 pe≥ cent sha≥es pa≥ticipation, Rwanda and Tanzania expected to confi≥m sha≥eholding pa≥ticipation soon. The p≥oject beneficia≥ies include East Af≥ican Community count≥ies and neighbou≥ing states of the DRC and South Sudan. East and Cent≥al Af≥ica ≥elies on impo≥ted pet≥oleum p≥oducts. The planned ≥efine≥y in Uganda will p≥ovide an alte≥native sou≥ce of supply at bette≥ pa≥ity p≥ices in addition to spu≥≥ing ≥elated ≥egional indust≥ial and se≥vice indust≥ies. Kenya and Uganda too have plans to const≥uct a joint pipeline to evacuate c≥ude oil f≥om the oil fields in weste≥n Uganda and no≥the≥n Kenya to the po≥t of Mombasa. The c≥ude oil pipeline sta≥ts f≥om Hoima in weste≥n Uganda via Lokicha≥ to Lamu po≥t on the Kenyan coast. The South Sudan section will be connected at Lokicha≥ in no≥the≥n Kenya. The Heads of States of Ken- ya, Rwanda and Uganda held the fi≥st No≥the≥n Co≥≥ido≥ Integ≥ation ag≥eed to sta≥t an initiative to fastt≥ack integ≥ation of the East Af≥ican ≥egion on f≥ee movement of people by use of national identity ca≥ds as t≥avel documents and the establishment of a single tou≥ist visa. Since Janua≥y 1, 2014, citizens of Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda have been able to use thei≥ national identity ca≥ds, vote≥s ca≥ds o≥ students ca≥ds as t≥avel documents between the th≥ee count≥ies. On Janua≥y 1, 2014, the East Af≥ica Tou≥ist Visa was int≥oduced, allowing t≥avelle≥s to visit Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda using a single visa. The visa is valid fo≥ multiple t≥ips ove≥ a 90 day pe≥iod and costs $100. Pa≥tne≥ States have waived wo≥k pe≥mit fees fo≥ citizens of the No≥the≥n Co≥≥ido≥. To make it easie≥ fo≥ people to do business in the ≥egion, No≥the≥n Co≥≥ido≥ membe≥ states set out to c≥eate a Single Customs Te≥≥ito≥y. The implementation of Single Customs Te≥≥ito≥y clea≥ance p≥ocedu≥es began at the end of 2013. Since then, all goods a≥e clea≥ed into a Single Customs Te≥≥ito≥y unde≥ a duty paid and wa≥ehous- 14 Northern Corridor Integration projects There are 14 projects being coordinated under the Northern Corridor Integration Projects namely; the standard gauge railway, ICT infrastructure, oil refinery development, fasttracking political federation, power generation, transmission and interconnectivity, crude oil pipeline development, refined petroleum products pipeline ing ≥egime. A Single Customs Te≥≥ito≥y ≥educes the cost of doing business by eliminating duplication of p≥ocesses. On Octobe≥ 28, 2013, the p≥esidents of Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and South Sudan decided to include Info≥mation and Communications Technology (ICT) as one of the st≥ategic a≥eas that will facilitate the integ≥ation within the ≥egion, and consequently a technical team was tasked with d≥awing ICT p≥ojects that will facilitate integ≥ation within the count≥ies. The ICT cluste≥ was able to ope≥ationalise One Netwo≥k A≥ea (ONA) fo≥ voice in the ≥egion by Janua≥y 2, 2015. This implies that all calls in the No≥the≥n Co≥≥ido≥ Integ≥ation P≥ojects ≥egion a≥e cha≥ged a unifo≥m p≥ice. The calling costs in the ≥egion have ≥educed by ove≥ 50 pe≥ cent, gene≥ating t≥emendous g≥owth in voice t≥a∞c (both incoming and outgoing) in all Pa≥tne≥ States. Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda have also ha≥monised a ≥egulato≥y f≥amewo≥k fo≥ integ≥ation of national databases fo≥ national Identity Ca≥ds and Sim ca≥ds. South Sudan is in the p≥ocess of developing its ≥egulation. The Cybe≥ Secu≥ity memo≥andum of unde≥standing has been developed and app≥oved by the ≥espective Pa≥tne≥ States. On powe≥ gene≥ation, Pa≥t- development, commodities exchange, human resource capacity building, issuance of East Africa tourist visa/use of national identity/voter/student cards as travel documents, single Customs territory, defence co-operation, peace and security co-operation and air space management. ne≥ States have emba≥ked on ambitious p≥og≥ammes to inc≥ease powe≥ p≥oduction to meet the domestic demand, gene≥ate su∞cient powe≥ fo≥ use in identified p≥ojects such as the standa≥d gauge ≥ailway, pipelines and ICT as well us b≥ing down the cost of ene≥gy to boost p≥oduction. To suppo≥t this noble cou≥se, Pa≥tne≥ States have concluded powe≥ pu≥chase and wheeling ag≥eement to facilitate powe≥ t≥ade among No≥the≥n Co≥≥ido≥ Pa≥tne≥ States. The peace and secu≥ity clus- te≥ ≥ecognises that sustainable socio-economic development cannot be achieved without peace, secu≥ity and stability. The cluste≥ is based on the knowledge that contempo≥a≥y challenges to peace, secu≥ity and stability a≥e too complex and dive≥se in natu≥e to be add≥essed by single nation states, and as such, ≥equi≥e collective app≥oach and ≥obust ≥esponse. The Peace and Secu≥ity Cluste≥ is based on the Mutual Peace and Secu≥ity Pact, which was signed at the Fou≥th Summit held in Kampala on Feb≥ua≥y 20, 2014. It includes, among othe≥s, the conclusion of a Coope≥ation Ag≥eement on the T≥ansfe≥ of P≥isone≥s and a Co-ope≥ation Ag≥eement on Counte≥-Te≥≥o≥ism and othe≥ T≥ansnational and O≥ganised c≥imes.
Nov 28th 2015
Dec 12th 2015