IMPROVING connective infrastructure and removing policy to trade can help drive economic desertification, creation of new jobs and poverty reduction, the East African member states have been advised.
Speaking during a two-day workshop on the integrated corridor development initiative-Lake Tanganyka transport programme, Burundi’s Minister for Transport, Public Works and Equipment, Mr Jean Bosco Ntunzwenimana said improvement of regional transport network will help to boost the regional economy.
“Improvement of transport network in sustainable manner is essential for competitive and improved integration into the region and global market,” he noted. The workshop took place over the weekend in Bujumbura, Burundi.
Among crucial issues discussed by EAC member states include identification and support project of packaging in match with available funds and additional fund mobilization. Also to identify the next steps to finalize programme design and move to its implementation as well as to identify potential development partners and investors to support the programme.
The workshop will give an opportunity to Partner States and regional organizations to highlight the projects they would like to be considered under the LTTP. In addition, Development Partners will also make presentations on projects they are committed to support.
The EAC Director General— Customs and Trade, Mr Kenneth Bagamuhunda, said that the Community recognizes that an integrated and efficient transport system is critical for attaining socio-economic development at the desired pace.
Mr Bagamuhunda noted that the Lake Tanganyika Transport Programme represents yet another coordinated initiative between Partners States, Development Partners and Regional Organizations to deliver an integrated, efficient and cost effective transport system in the regions.
He said infrastructure and efficient transport systems are of great importance to the regional economic development in the EAC. “It is also apparent that required investment to deliver infrastructure projects to bridge the existing infrastructure deficit at a desired pace, cannot be achieved single-handedly by respective governments,” added the DG.
The World Bank, Country Director in Burundi, Mr Nestor Coffi, said that the Bank recognizes that regional integration plays a critical role in connecting people to markets, both within Africa and the global economy.