By Watchdog reporter
President Yoweri Museveni has met with the new East African Community (EAC) Secretary General, Dr. Liberat Mfumukeko, who called on him at State House, Entebbe.
Ambassador Mfumukeko, the 5th Secretary General of the EAC who was appointed to the position in March this year, briefed President Museveni on the progress of the Burundi peace talks and the various steps being taken towards the EAC federation.
Mr Mfumukeko, a citizen of Burundi, revealed that former Tanzanian President, Mr. Benjamin Mkapa is already in the process of organizing another round of talks between the parties in the Burundi conflict to which the ruling party in Burundi has given assurances to attend.
Regarding the issue of the East African federation, SG Mfukukeko said that all member states – Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda – are ready for the implementation of the confederation. He disclosed that newly independent South Sudan will be active in the East African Community bloc starting November 2016.
The EAC Secretary General further said that the EAC is redesigning its priorities giving importance to sectors like agriculture, health and education in order to ensure that the needs of the people of the region are satisfied.
“We are doing a lot of networking and streamlining our priorities. We want to improve the overall planning of our priorities and identify business opportunities for the member states,” he said.
He revealed that the East African Community has partnered with Oxford and Stanford Universities in UK and USA respectively to train East Africans in research and technology.
President Museveni urged the different parties in Burundi to embrace the talks led by former Tanzania President Benjamin Mkapa in order to resolve their differences.
Mr Museveni also stressed the need for the African strategic defense noting that the confederation would make East Africa stronger.
Ambassador Mfumukeko previously worked in France, Russia, USA, DR Congo, Rwanda, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Burundi. He is fluent in French, English, Russian, Kiswahili and his native Kirundi.