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By East African Community (EAC)
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ARUSHA, Tanzania, March 28, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Secretary General of the East African Community Amb. Richard Sezibera today held separate talks with the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of the United States of America in the United Republic of Tanzania, Mr. Robert Scott and the Director of the 2nd African Affairs Division at the Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Shinichi Asazuma.

The Secretary General briefed the US Envoy and the Japanese official on the latest development in the regional integration process.

The US Deputy Chief of Mission was amazed by the several projects and programmes being implemented by the regional bloc and the milestones so far recorded saying “a lot of things are happening in Arusha and the United States government is committed to ensure things are going in the right direction in the integration efforts”. He said his government values the existing relationship between it and the EAC both at bilateral and regional levels.

The Secretary General hailed the support the US government was rendering to the region in the civil aviation sector and others areas and urged it to consider being part of the rehabilitation efforts of the EAC's Soroti Civil Aviation Flying School in Uganda. Amb. Sezibera informed his guest that the School was the best in the region but was in dire need of rehabilitation and support.

Amb. Sezibera also informed the US Envoy that the World Trade Organization (WTO) was currently reviewing the EAC as a region unlike in the past when the review was done on Partner State basis.

“This is a big achievement for the regional bloc,” asserted Amb. Sezibera.

Japanese Director Assures EAC on Infrastructure Support

The visiting Director of 2nd African Affairs Division at the Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Shinichi Asazuma assured the Secretary General on his country's continued support to the EAC in the infrastructure sector.

He also briefed the Secretary General on the ongoing preparation for the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) V which will be held in June 2013 in Yokohama, Japan with the objective to promote high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and development partners.

Mr. Asazuma also informed the Secretary General about the regular consultation of African ambassadors including those from the EAC based in Tokyo with the Japanese officials on infrastructure developments as well as trade and investment related issues.

Amb. Sezibera applauded Japan's support to EAC and its Partner States comprising corridor studies; implementation of trade facilitation instruments including automation and IT systems for the Customs Authorities; one stop border posts (OSBPs) design, development and integrated border management systems; Customs reforms; ports and road transport development; and capacity building among others.

He said good infrastructure was critical in the success of the EAC integration process.