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East African Community Set to Transform Lake Tanganyika Basin

by Damaris Waigwa last modified Nov 08, 2011 10:49 AM
The East African Community (EAC) is planning to use water from Lake Tanganyika to promote inter-regional trade and investments and spur socio-economic development in the region.

The EAC Secretary General, Dr Richard Sezibera, told a press conference in Arusha Tanzania Tuesday that, the main objective of the program is to strengthen cooperation among member countries and those sharing the resources of Lake Tanganyika to improve the regional economy.

Dr. Sezibera said on November 28 to 29, the EAC will conduct a regional conference in Bujumbura, Burundi set strategies of transforming the basin to a business and economic development center.

He said that, during the conference potential investors will be encouraged and motivated to invest in the basin which is rich in natural resources such as fish, marine transport, wildlife, tourism, mining and agriculture and has a potential for hydrocarbon energy.

Dr. Sezibera revealed that, the conference will focus on how to improve transport and communications infrastructure, tourism development and marketing, agri-business and fisheries, trade and industry, investment led researches and development, environment and natural resource utilisation.

A statement issued on Monday by the EAC, Department of Corporate Affairs and Public Information revealed that the theme for this first Lake Tanganyika Basin Development Conference is ‘Unlocking the Overflowing Trade and Investment Opportunities in the Basin’.

This theme is with a view to opening investment opportunities for local and international investors and other stakeholders, such as job creation, income generation and improved economic performance of the region.

"It is also aimed at exploring ways to strengthen regional integration through cross-border and inter-regional business partnerships between and among local community and international businesses", the statement added.

Key among the objectives of the meeting is to increase awareness and understanding the importance of the Lake Tanganyika basin as a shared trans-boundary natural resource that can support increased productivity, trade and investments within the context of the EAC-SAD-COMESA Tripartite Agreement.

Business communities within the EAC, the Southern Africa Development Cooperation (SADC) and COMESA member states, development partners, foreign missions, the banking industry, local and foreign investors, research institutions and universities are also expected to participate in the conference that will coincide with the 10th Ordinary EAC heads of state summit scheduled for November 30 in Bujumbura.

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