Saturday, 13 December 2014

EAC leaders sign agreement on air space

L-R: Uganda’s President Museveni, Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame pose for a group photo after the opening of the Northern Corridor Integration project at Safari Hotel Nairobi on Thursday


Regional leaders of Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan have signed a pact on the management of the Northern Corridor Air Space bloc, which they said will contribute significantly to the development of infrastructure for transmission, power trade, and reduce the cost of air travel in the region.

In a joint communiqué, the heads of State issued after the Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit in Nairobi on Thursday, appreciated the conclusion of the Power Purchase and Wheeling Agreements and the signed Memorandum of Understanding on the management of the Northern Corridor Air Space bloc.

State Minister for Transport Stephen Chebrot signed on behalf of Uganda, while Cabinet Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure Micheal Kamau signed on behalf of Kenya, Mr James Musoni for Rwanda and Mr Kwong Danhier Gatluak on behalf of South Sudan.

The regional leaders also directed the minister of Infrastructure of Rwanda to convene a meeting of airline industry stakeholders to conclude the negotiations on the 5th Freedom Traffic Rights on the Entebbe-Nairobi-Juba route by December 31, and address the outstanding issues to reduce the cost of air travel in the region. The minister was asked to give a report at the next summit.

The representatives

Ethiopia was represented at the summit by Mr Habtamu Baye Chekole, Special Envoy to the Ethiopian President, Tanzania by its East African Co-operation minister, Mr Samuel Sita, while Burundi was represented by Ms Leontine Nzeyima.

The East African Community Secretary General, Mr Richard Sezibera attended. The heads of State condemned the heinous acts of terror by the Al Shabaab in Mandera.

Earlier in his opening remarks, President Uhuru Kenyatta said if Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan continue their commitment, East Africa will be prosperous and secure for all in the region.

The summit recognised the gains realised from the operationalisation of the Single Customs Territory and on Information Communication and Technology.

They reiterated the importance of comprehensive and speedy operationalisation of One Network Area in Uganda. The summit further directed the ministers to operationalise the One Network Area for SMS, Data and Mobile Financial.


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