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All set for Lake Tanganyika development conference / EAC Heads of State, DR Congo and Zambia Presidents to take part in interactive session on Day 2 of the conference

By East African Community (EAC)
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ARUSHA, Tanzania, November 25, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Bujumbura, the capital city of Burundi, is set to host the first-ever Lake Tanganyika Basin Development Conference in the context of the East African Community, which will take place on 28-29 November 2011.

Themed Unlocking the Overflowing Trade and Investment Opportunities in the Basin, the two-day event is meant to harness the potential for trade, investment and socio-economic development in Lake Tanganyika Basin.

The conference will be hosted at the Hotel Source du Nil and Roca Golf Hotel starting Monday next week and the Summit Chairperson and President of the Republic of Burundi HE Pierre Nkurunziza is expected to deliver the keynote address at the official opening.

EAC Heads of State HE Mwai Kibaki of Kenya; Paul Kagame of Rwanda; Jakaya Kikwete of the United Republic of Tanzania; Yoweri Museveni of Uganda; as well as HE Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo and HE Michael Sata of Zambia are scheduled to take part in an interactive Heads of State session of the Lake Tanganyika Basin Development Conference on Tuesday afternoon, to be moderated by Mr. Jeff Koinange. DR Congo and Zambia are the other countries that share Lake Tanganyika with Burundi and Tanzania.

Speaking during a media briefing on Thursday, EAC Secretary General Amb. Richard Sezibera said that in addition to raising awareness about one of the region's most important shared trans-boundary natural resources, EAC would also use the conference to woo investors to the basin, which boasts of opportunities in transport and communication infrastructure; tourism; agri-business and fisheries; trade and industry; and investment-led research among others.

Among the subjects to be discussed at the conference include the sustainable exploitation of the natural resource base within the Lake Tanganyika basin; state of play and role of public private partnerships (PPP) in infrastructural development in the region; and the role of ports and inland waterways in regional integration.

The forum will also focus on revitalization of the rail network in the region; enhancing Information Communication Technologies for service economy; oil and gas exploration activities on Lake Tanganyika; as well as energy alternatives for productive use to improve income generation in Lake Tanganyika basin.

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“We want people to be fully aware of the potentials available in the lake, which is shared by four countries; Tanzania, Burundi, DRC and Zambia. There are lots of potentials that need to be tapped in the lake through investment as it is in other lakes in the region,” the EAC Secretary General said ahead of the conference.

The EAC Secretariat in collaboration with the Republic of Burundi as the host country and Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) are organizing the conference with the support of the EAC Partner States, Lake Tanganyika Authority (LTA), TradeMark East Africa and East African Business Council (EABC).

The Lake Tanganyika Basin Development Conference will be relayed live via the EAC website: www.eac.int.