• Japan has said it will support the East African Community (EAC) integration agenda as well as areas of cooperation between herself and the East African bloc.

    This was said at a consultative meeting between of the Government of Japan and the EAC Secretariat held at the EAC Headquarters, in Arusha.

    The Deputy Ambassador of Japan to the United Republic of Tanzania, Counselor Hiroyuki Kubota underscored Japan’s commitment to support and engage the EAC in various development projects and programs between the two regions. He added that engaging private sector will support development in the regions.

    “The Government of Japan firmly believes that in order to foster socio-economic development, the involvement of the private sector is key, and with this, the Government of Japan is committed to facilitating the involvement of the private sector in both regions to play its critical role in the EAC integration agenda,” he remarked.

    Appreciating Japan’s role in supporting the EAC both at the regional as well as bilateral levels, the EAC Secretary General, Dr Richard Sezibera said: “the collaboration with Japan ranks highly in terms of its contributions toward deeper EAC integration.”

    Among some of the projects that Japan has supported the EAC to achieve include the development of the One Stop Border Posts (both hard and soft infrastructure); development of the Vehicle Load Control and the One Stop Border Post laws that are currently undergoing gazettement; co-financing with African Development Bank of the Arusha – Namanga – Athi River Road and various ports projects at the bilateral levels, the EAC Secretary General noted.

    Also present at the meeting was Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Tanzania Office, Chief Representative, Toshio Nagase. Mr Nagase emphasized Japan’s commitment to deliver on all projects committed under the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), reaffirming that those with various implementation challenges would soon be back on track, such as the Bujumbura Port Project.

    Mr Nagase further informed the meeting that preparations for TICAD VI were underway and will address two thematic areas: human resources development, and regional connectivity.

    “I call upon the EAC to propose priority projects under TICAD VI that are aligned to the two themes,” he added.

    The two parties agreed to look into modalities of hosting a jointly sponsored event by EAC and Japan on the sidelines of TICAD VI slated for August 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya.

    TICAD was launched in 1993 at the initiative of the Government of Japan, with the dual objective of promoting high-level political dialogue between Africa and its development partners and mobilizing support in favor of African development initiatives.

    Present at the consultative meeting were JICA Tanzania Office Representative, Mr Nobuyuki Kobe, EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Planning and Infrastructure, Dr Enos Bukuku and EAC Director of Infrastructure, Mr Phillip Wambugu.

    Image Credit: EAC