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Tanzania: JPM, Kenyatta Tout Smooth Trade

President John Magufuli and his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta, yesterday instructed their ministers to resolve issues that emerge in the course of conducting business between the two countries. The two Heads of State gave instructions after holding talks at Munyonyo Hotel in Kampala, shortly before commencement of the East African Community (EAC) Heads of State meeting.

The two presidents said they want to see business growing between Tanzania and Kenya, by selling and buying products from both sides and that any differences that affect business must be resolved. "There are small things that emerge in business between Tanzania and Kenya; we want ministers from both sides to sit and resolve them. Small issues that involve gas, shoes, clothes and wheat flour must be resolved by ministers; you do not need to involve us in such issues," he noted. Dr Magufuli's statement was supported by his counterpart, President Kenyatta.

He further said Tanzania is also concerned with the state of security in the youngest African nation, Sudan. “I have assured President Kiir that Tanzania stands with South Sudan and we would like to see them ending their differences. Tanzaina is ready to trade with South Sudan; we are ready to sell them food if they need it from us,” said Dr Magufuli.

President Kiir said Tanzania and South Sudan share a historical relationship since the reign of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, adding that President Magufuli has assured him of good relationship regardless of the ongoing war in his country. Moreover, Dr Magufuli held talks with the First Vice-President of Burundi, Gaston Sindimwo, who represented President Pierre Nkurunziza. The VP went on to assure President Magufuli that the state of security in Burundi was stable.

"As Africans, we must really know what will help us to get out of poverty ... numbers matter a lot when it comes to prosperity," said President Museveni. He cited China and India as examples that possessed huge consumer bases, but again saw that it was not enough to attain prosperity and guarantee their economic growth. As for East Africa and Africa, President Museveni said they have the numbers and in 2050 it is anticipated to double.
"We only have a simple job of organising the numbers well, in the common market of East Africa and the Continental Free Trade (CFTA) which will be signed in Kigali, next month," he noted.
According to the summit's joint communiqué among things which were deliberated in the meeting include - placing for consideration a report of the council on the implementation of previous decisions of the summit and concern over the slow implementation of decisions. The summit directed the council to implement all outstanding decisions and report to the 20th summit.

The summit assented to the EAC Customs Management (amendment) Bill 2016, the EAC Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2016, the EAC Appropriation Bill 2016, which had been partially assented to.  The summit noted and endorsed nine key investment priority areas for health and directed partner states to mobilise resources required to support the implementation.

With regard to infrastructure, the summit directed the council to mobilise resources required for implementation of new and on-going priority infrastructure projects in the region. The meeting also gave impetus towards achievement and objectives of the EAC by directing the council and partner states to fully implement the single customs territory by rolling out all products and all customs regimes. The summit directed the partner states to expedite the amendment of their national policies, laws and regulations to comply with the common market protocol.

Concerning the monetary union, the summit directed the council to expedite the establishment of the monetary institute and other institutions according to the roadmap of the East African Monetary Union.