The much anticipated East African Community Heads of State meeting has been scheduled for February 27.
In a letter addressed to all permanent secretaries and ministers for EAC Affairs from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan, EAC Secretary General Liberat Mfumukeko advised that the Council of Ministers will hold their meeting on February 25.
“Following consultations with the chairperson of the Council, the SG wishes to convene the 40th Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers from February 22-25, 2021 in Arusha, Tanzania,” said Mr Mfumukeko.
“We are also kindly proposing that the 21st Ordinary summit of the EAC Heads of state be held on Saturday, February27, 2021.”
The meeting will be conducted over a number of sessions that will include senior government officials and permanent secretaries starting on February 22, and culminate in the Council meeting on February 25.
The appointment of the next secretary general of the EAC is top on the agenda for the Summit.
Other issues are the appointment of judges to the East African Court of Justice and infrastructure plans for the period 2021-24.
The regional bloc has also prioritised recovery plans for the region’s economy that has been battered by Covid-19 measures and regulations.
“The EAC partner states are looking into ways on how to deal with the effects of the virus on the region’s economy,” said Nshuti Manasseh, Rwanda’s Minister of State in charge of the EAC and the chairperson of the Council of Ministers.
“There are things we need to work on together, especially the free movement of goods and people. We are going to look at the entire economy. We need to see that the movement of goods is going on uninterrupted and that the Customs Union is operating.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame and South Sudan’s Salva Kiir attended the Consultative Meeting of the EAC Heads of State on Regional Response to Covid-19 and the Free Movement of Goods last May. It was convened following the recommendations of a joint consultative meeting of partner states’ ministers. Tanzania and Burundi did not attend the meeting.