Uganda People’s Congress(UPC) president Jimmy Akena has urged Uganda to use the opportunity of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) joining the East African Community (EAC) to facilitate trade and tighten security among the member states.
This week, DRC was admitted into EAC joining Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan.
DRC becomes the seventh state to join the community in a bid to boost its trade, social cohesion and security, through combined effort with the member states.
In a statement, Akena said this will help Uganda to widen its markets for the produce such as maize, beans, and livestock like chicken, eggs, and raw materials as well as finished products which will boost the economy of Uganda.
“Countries like Burundi, DRC, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda access their external markets mainly through Kenya and Tanzania since they are the ones at the coastlines and ports. This enhances the cause for EAC,” he said.
Akena noted with concern that there are emerging areas which require a joint approach such as security, diseases control, weather studies and forecasting, tourism, and wildlife as well as climate change and environment.
He stated originally, the founding members of the East African Community which include; Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania had joint ventures that need to be restored alongside the current objectives of the EAC.
For instance, he said, Uganda headquartered the East Africa Posts and Communications, East Africa Flying School, East Africa Library Studies, and East Africa Virus Research Institute; Kenya hosted headquarters for East Africa Airways, East Africa Railways and East Africa College of Tourism, and Tanzania had East Africa Ports and Harbours.