JUBA – South Sudan’s presidential affairs minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin is in Arusha, the capital of Tanzania, attending the East African Community (EAC) 22nd Ordinary Summit on behalf of President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
EAC leaders are meeting in the Tanzanian capital from 21 to 22 July 2022 to discuss the regional bloc’s common market.
During the two-day event, the leaders are expected to – among others – take stock of the progress of implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol, adopt strategic measures to unlock the lags and bottlenecks in establishment of the Common Market, and agree on a roadmap for the full realization of the Common Market.
Speaking during the summit, Marial assured the regional leaders that his government back home is implementing the revitalized peace agreement and that the world’s youngest country has taken steps already to harmonize trade as needed in the regional integration.
“We are implementing the revitalized peace agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan,” the senior government official told the regional leaders.
“As a young nation in the East African region we have always allowed free movement of people and goods from Uganda, DR Congo and Kenya into South Sudan. In terms of education sector, South Sudan has integrated Kiswahili and French into the education system,” he added
He said further added that: “In the area of trade, there is cross border movement of business men and women between Uganda and South Sudan without restriction. We have moved in the financial sector, and this is evidenced by the presence of banks like cooperative Bank, Equity Bank, Ecobank and KCB Bank from Kenya so that our financial institutions have been harmonized.”
The summit is being attended by presidents of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, and prime ministers of Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Newly-elected Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud also attended to meet regional leaders over his country’s application into the regional organization.