Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has vowed to spearhead regional unity and prosperity for the East African Community (EAC) as he took over the chairmanship of the bloc.

Kenyatta who addressed the 21st Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State held virtually on Saturday said he will focus on strengthening partnerships to enhance intra-EAC connectivity and ensuring sustainable implementation of projects and programs in productive sectors.

“I promise to do all I can to take our region to greater heights,” he said in a statement issued after the meeting on Saturday evening. He assured that he will spare no effort towards the realization of the shared aspirations that gave rebirth to the community 20 years ago.

The Kenyan leader who took over the EAC chairmanship from his Rwanda counterpart, Paul Kagame, assured of the need for partner states to harmonize their commitment on free movement of people, workers and services as envisaged in the region’s common market protocol.

Kenyatta announced Kenya’s decision to remove visa requirements for South Sudanese nationals visiting the country as an act of reciprocity.

During the summit, Peter Mutuku Mathuki of Kenya was sworn in as the new EAC Secretary General for a five-year non-renewable term with effect from April 25. Mathuki took over from Liberat Mfumukeko of Burundi whose term is ending.

The summit was also attended by President Evariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi and President Museveni of Uganda while the speech of host President John Magufuli was read by Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

The summit, chaired by Kenyatta, also witnessed the appointment of six new Judges of the East African Court of Justice, including Kenya’s Justice Kathurima M’inoti who joins the Appellate Division of the East Africa Court of Justice.

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