The East Africa Community (EAC) has highlighted key milestones achieved since the treaty to establish it was signed two and half decades ago.
EAC Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza alluded this while highlighting some of the achievements with the most significant being increasing membership from the original three to seven.
The bloc initially comprised Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania before Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) joined. And now Somalia is the new kid on the block, having been admitted last Friday after a decade of intense lobbying.
The admission raised eyebrows and excitement in equal measure considering that the country has had a long history of insecurity due to the Al-Shabab terrorist group that has not only been a thorn in the flesh of Somalia but the entire EAC bloc.
Addressing the media in the company of EAC State Department Principal Secretary Abdi Dubat, Malonza defended the admission saying Somalia’s presence comes with a lot of benefits including trade, integration and working together to strengthen the community in terms of membership.
“I know we have had our challenges as a region in terms of terrorism. But when we put our minds together we can solve problems just like we did for DRC. It’s the same way we shall do in tackling terrorism in this region together working with Somalia and now I believe we shall get a new focus in addressing as eight member states,” she explained.
The EAC integration process is anchored on four pillars namely customs union, common market, monetary union and political federation.
“We have also been able to do joint infrastructure development projects such as the Arusha-Namanga-Athi River Road, operationalisation of the East African passport and abolished the visa requirements for the citizens of the EAC,” said Malonza.
She highlighted joint management of transboundary resources such as the Mara River and Lake Victoria basins, the establishment of the EAC Court of Justice, the East African Legislative Assembly(EALA) and institutions to fast track the integration process, ensuring notable efficiency along member states transport corridors as some of the other achievements.
“On the Northern Corridor, the turnaround time of movement of goods has reduced from eighteen to four days from Mombasa to Kampala and twenty-one to six days from Mombasa to Kigali is a great achievement too,” noted the CS
[7:47 AM, 12/1/2023] James Waithaka Media Safaricom: Mwea Mp Hails Upscaling of the Hustler Fund
It is now slowly dawning to Kenyans that the Government of His Excellency President Dr William Ruto is keen to deliver on its promises, key among them being the Bottom up Economic Transformation Agenda abbreviated as BETA.
This came to be fulfilled on Thursday 30th November when Kenyans received the Good news pertaining the upscaling of the Hustler Fund.
His Excellency The President Dr William Ruto announced that Kenyans will now be able to borrow more as the fund increases borrowing limits by up to 100 per cent.
“Additionally, for those who have demonstrated a commitment to saving, and your savings exceed your loan limit, we will double your credit limit,” he said
Reacting on this pronouncement, Mwea MP Mary Maingi underscored the phenomenal economical transformation brought about by the fund. Hon Mary Maingi noted,
“The Hustler Fund has effectively fulfilled its primary objective by ensuring Kenyans have access to affordable credit.
One year later, the fund has disbursed KSh39.7 billion to 21.8 million people and mobilised KSh2 billion in savings. Total repayments stand at KShs 28.75 billion.
I urge Kenyans to continue borrowing and repaying on time so as to improve on their credit score,” she noted.
At the same time Hon Mary Maingi implored upon Kenyans to continue supporting the Government to deliver on its other key transformation agenda blueprint for all Kenyans.