By Maureen N. Ntari

The Department of East African Community Integration (DEACI) Head of Central Planning and Project Monitoring Unit (CPPMU) Mr. Daniel Kairu recently led a team of officers from different ministries in a participatory process of formulating the 5th East African Community Development Strategy (2016/17-2020/21), at the Laico Regency Hotel, Nairobi.

Speaking during the forum, Mr Kairu said the development strategy was crucial in guiding and facilitating the successful pursuit of the vision and mission of the EAC, particularly as articulated in the treaty and vision 2050, with regards to the pursuit of widening and deepening the EAC ties.

Dr.Frank Mabirizi project Manager of Reev consult International who is the consulting team leader assigned to lead the participatory process of formulating the 5th EAC Development strategy was also present for the two day workshop.

The main reason for the participatory consultative and iterative approach was to ensure the ownership, commitment and leadership, with regard to the development strategy, as well as the closely related optimum support, by its various stakeholders, has been employed throughout the process of the strategy.

The EAC is mandated by the partner states to spearhead the East African economic, social and political integration, as well as sustainable social-economic development and transformation agenda.

The EAC Treaty also provides the general guidelines upon which the Development strategy for the community is derived. This involves formulating detailed strategies and frameworks for a policy action matrix, hence the 5th EAC Development Strategy.

“The overall goal of the 5th EAC Development strategy is to build a firm foundation for transforming the East African Community into stable, Competitive and Sustainable lower-middle income region,” Mr Kairu told the forum.

The Ministries and Organizations represented at the workshop include:-Attorney Generals’ office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The State Departments of Labour, Social Protection and East Africa Community Integration; Ministry of Trade and Ministry of Internal Security.

The participants were divided into groups in accordance with the individual expertise on the different areas including: social sectors, planning and infrustrure, customs and trade, productive sector, political federation, human resources and administration and Secretariat.

“The meeting is good, however there should be a preparatory meeting to create awareness among the stakeholders before getting onto the details and also create a common understanding among the participants. It is really important for us to be thorough on our research and thus we require enough time,” One of the stakeholders present said.