Tanzania’s EAC Common Market Protocol to make history on the African continent

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President Jakaya Kikwete

President Jakaya Kikwete

?While implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol which would pave way for a monetary union and make history on the African continent, the Common Market Protocol is still lagging,? stated the Tanzanian Head of State.

President Kikwete made the statement in his acceptance speech after taking over the chairmanship of the East African Heads of State Summit in Nairobi late Friday evening.

He cited the East African Common Market scorecard of 2014 which indicated a slow trend and progress by member states in the implementation of some of aspects of the Common Market Protocol.

?Fortunately, however, key recommendations have been proposed on increasing the pace of its implementation. All of us must ensure full implementation of these recommendations.

?But with regard to free movements of services, for example, we are told, 63 measures out of 500 key sectoral laws and regulations of partner states were identified to be inconsistent with the Common Market Protocol.

Strangely, though, professional services accounted for 73 per cent of these,? he said. According to Mr Kikwete, the scorecard appreciated that a lot has been done in the movement of goods but non-tariff barriers, particularly agreements on the application of sanitary and phytosanitary measures remain notorious.

?Only two out of the 20 capital operations are free of restrictions in all partner states. These are those related to external borrowing by residents and repatriation of proceeds from sale of asset,? he added.

President Kikwete urged the community as a whole to remain focused on the implementation of the roadmap on a monetary union. ?Specifically, let us make sure that the timelines agreed by all of us are observed.

I further call upon partner states to fast track the process of attaining Macro-Economic Convergence Criteria which is important in implementing the objectives of the monetary union,? he said.

He was of the view that the monetary union stage consummates the EAC economic integration agenda and it is the last but one step to the ultimate destiny of a political federation.

?We in Tanzania reaffirm our readiness and commitment to walk in step with the other partner states in ensuring that the EAC integration process stays the course and succeeds,? he said.

By MARC NKWAME, Tanzania Daily News

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