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During the event

EAC Ministers Discuss Regional Security, Relations, and Integration

posted onJuly 8, 2024

The East African Community (EAC) Ministerial Retreat on Peace and Security, Partner States Relations and Integration Process organised by the EAC Secretariat in partnership with Tanzania kicked off on Saturday in Zanzibar.

The main objective of the EAC Ministerial Retreat that brings together Partner States’ Ministers of Foreign and EAC Affairs is to discuss critical issues affecting the EAC region.

The retreat also provides a unique opportunity for Ministers to engage in thoughtful discussions, share insights and collectively strategise on ways to foster sustainable peace, enhance security cooperation, strengthen relationships among Partner States and move the integration agenda forward.

Discussions at the three-day retreat that is being held from July 6-8, are aimed at enhancing cooperation among Partner States in order to address existing challenges and foster greater unity within the EAC. The Ministers will use the retreat to further emphasise the importance of solidarity and collaboration in promoting stability and advancing the collective interests of the region.

The retreat is the implementation of the directive given by the meeting of EAC Ministers held on February 16. 2024 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia while preparing for a consultative meeting of the Summit of the EAC Heads of State. During the meeting, Partner States’ Ministers of Foreign and EAC Affairs underscored the need for a retreat for in-depth conversations on pertinent issues that are holding back the integration process. The United Republic of Tanzania offered to host the retreat.

Speaking at the opening session of the Retreat, the EAC Secretary General, Veronica Nduva said the retreat provided a platform for frank exchanges, strategic planning and the identification of actionable steps to enhance peace and security while deepening integration efforts within the EAC.

The Secretary General reiterated that as the EAC continues to navigate evolving challenges and opportunities, the outcomes of the Ministerial Retreat would guide future initiatives aimed at fostering sustainable development, and shared prosperity and stability across the region

“I wish to reiterate my message at the recently ended 45th ordinary Council, on the importance of peace and stability in fostering the social, economic and political integration of our region,” said Nduva.

The Secretary General informed the retreat that it is only through cooperation and commitment to dialogue that the region can overcome peace and security challenges. She called on Partner States to work together and strengthen regional security mechanisms, promote conflict resolution and foster a culture of peace within the Community.

On his part, Tanzania's Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, January Makamba, who is also the host of the retreat, emphasised the importance of unity among the Partner States, adding that it was the catalyst of economic and social development of the region.

“We have the responsibility to make sure that the Community works for the people and by the people as directed by the Summit,” said Makamba.

Makamba said the integration can only succeed only if peace, stability and security are established throughout the region, adding that the Summit directed ministers to facilitate the implementation of the four pillars of integration that is Customs Union, Common Market, Monetary Union and Political Federation.

Makamba urged the Ministers to use the three days of the retreat to discuss at length discussion the various issues affecting the integration process as one family and come up with the recommendations that will be in favour of East Africans.

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