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World Bank to assist EAC achieve full integration

09 May 2016, 09:37

Nairobi - The World Bank said on Sunday it will work with the East African Community (EAC) partner states to help the economic bloc achieve full regional integration.

World Bank Program Manager for South Sudan Jean Lubega-Kyazze told Xinhua in Nairobi that the project will begin before the end of 2016 and will take three years to complete.

"The project aims at helping the EAC overcome the constraints that have prevented full implementation of the EAC Common Market protocol," Lubega-Kyazze said.

EAC member states include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan and Burundi.

"We have identified the constraints that each country needs to overcome in order for the EAC to be fully integrated. Each country is unique and therefore has different constraints," she added.

Read Also: Kenya leads in regional integration: report

According to the Bretton Woods institution, regional integration holds a lot of promise for the partner states. "It will create a seamless market for goods produced in each member state," the program manager said.

"So instead of manufacturers producing for only 50 million people, they will now target 160 million people. This will help to create economies of scale," she said.

Lubega-Kyazze observed that one of the key constraints to full integration is the lack of integration of regional policies into national policies.

"So national policies don't reflect what has been agreed upon at the EAC level and it is common to find cases where national policies don't include positions reached upon at the regional level," she added.

She noted that the EAC Common Market Protocol was signed in 2010 but the trading block is yet to fully liberalize the free movement of goods, services and labour.

- Xinhua


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