Monday, October 27, 2008

Uganda asked to re-think EAC deal

Martin Ssebuyira, Sunday Monitor, October 24, 2008

Uganda could emerge the biggest loser in the second integration of East African community if it does not position itself well to take advantage of the current discussions, an official negotiating the East African Community common market has said.

Mr Walusimbi said this while presenting a paper on challenges of the East African Integration to participants at the 13th annual Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) Seminar in Entebbe, on October 22.

Mr George Walusimbi, the Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Services Exporters’ Association who also represents Uganda on the high level task force negotiating the East African community common market said Uganda needs to appreciate what it wants to get from the community before signing the final agreement.

The complete formation of the East African Community is set to be attained in 2013 and there after, a political federation. Uganda’s agenda in the re-integration has tended to be more politically than economically inclined.

“Uganda needs to rethink its strategy, (since) in the long term it has the most to benefit from the economic dividends of this integration,” he said. He added that the Private sector in Tanzania thinks more than the political side and that could explain why the second headquarter of the bloc is coming up in Arusha.