East Africa Correspondent
African leadership Magazine
The East African Community has advised its member states to adopt a more coordinated approach while combating Covid-19 restrictions.
EAC Secretary General Dr. Peter Mathuki said COVID – 19 testing charges and quarantines administrative procedures need to be harmonized across all East African regions to ease the free movement of people while adhering to the COVID 19 restrictions.
“We have been pushing for EAC Partner States’ governments to adopt a coordinated approach in combating the pandemic,” said Dr. Mathuki during a virtual meeting held on Friday as he marked 100 days in the office.
At the moment, each EAC partner state has put in place a different COVID -19 response regime, which is said to be costly to business owners and travellers.
“We are also pushing for the adoption of the EAC Pass, which integrates all EAC Partner States’ negative test results for Covid-19, and those already vaccinated to ensure safe and seamless travel across the region. he added.
The total amount charged for the COVID-19 testing exercise and the period taken to quarantine upon arrival in each EAC partner state varies.
Heads of state also reiterated the call noting that there is a need for EAC to steer up the Community states in the spirit of the EAC treaty, which emphasizes a people-centred, market-driven, and private sector-led integration process. These, they say will accelerate regional growth, create wealth, and reduce poverty in the region. According to Dr. Mathuki, he has already held discussions with the members of the summit of heads of states seeking their opinions on how to run the community efficiently.
He has also commended the intra-EAC trade on the Namanga border, citing that trade between Kenya and Tanzania has risen simultaneously.