Germany channels $35m for EAC projects

Germany channels $35m for EAC projects
The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Tanzania H.E Regine Hess and Secretary-General of EAC Dr. Peter Mutuku Mathuki signing the agreements (photo credit: Courtesy)

The East African Community (EAC) and the Federal Republic of Germany have signed $35 million agreements geared towards technical and financial cooperation to boost water resource management, economic integration and pandemic preparedness in Arusha, Tanzania, yesterday.

The Ambassador of Germany to Tanzania Regine Hess and the Secretary-General of the East African Community Dr Peter Mutuku Mathuki actualised the signing of the agreements.

During the signing ceremony, Dr Mathuki said the funding would enhance the management and improve the quality of water and the safety of Lake Victoria Basin and the East African Community at large.

“This financing will play a huge part in contributing to environment development as we move towards exploiting the potential of this resource for the benefit of the community,” said Dr Mathuki.

He appreciated the Federal Republic of Germany for its important partnership, which he said had helped in deepening the efforts for regional integration.

“Germany has been a strategic partner and walked the integration journey with the EAC for over 20 years; providing extensive technical and financial support to critical projects and programs that have advanced the regional integration agenda,” he said.

He further appreciated Germany for its support in the procurement of the EAC Mobile Laboratories deployed in the partner states and the critical role it plays in the fight against COVID-19.

He said through the Mobile Laboratories, the testing time had significantly reduced from an average of 72 hours to 10 hours.

Amb. Hess said that the establishment of a regional network of laboratories would scale up the preparedness to swiftly respond to the pandemic in the EAC.

 Increasing capacity

“This gives the population access to a wide range of diagnostic services. Future outbreaks of disease can be identified at an early stage and epidemics and pandemics can be better prevented and controlled,” Amb. Hess said.

She praised EAC, referring to it as a ‘trustworthy partner of Germany’. She stressed the commitment of Germany to support the capacity building in EAC institutions so that the impact of regional integration is realized by citizens.

 “Lake Victoria is a water body shared among three EAC Partner States. Improving water safety and quality will go a long way in improving the livelihoods of those who depend on it, create job opportunities which are ultimately set to improve their quality of life,” she said.

Efforts

Over 560,000 COVID-19 samples are said to have already been analysed and 103 laboratory staff are trained in mobile laboratories.

There are also reports that data collection for COVID-19 rapid diagnostic test validation and sequencing studies started in EAC partner states.

Projects

The first technical cooperation project worth $3.8 million will be launched in January 2022 and will aim at improving Integrated Water Resource Management through the strengthening of the capacity of Lake Victoria.

It is also said to improve cooperation between the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC), water administration and the River Basin Organisations of the EAC Partner States. It will also strengthen the capacities of the EAC department of productive Services in Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM).

The second project is a financial cooperation project worth $17.3 million which will focus on the promotion of economic development in the region surrounding Lake Victoria.

Lake Victoria Basin is reported to be generating approximately 40 per cent of the total Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of the partner states, which is resourceful for economic, ecological and social development.

It supports approximately 40 million people who live in its catchment area.

The third project is also a financial project worth $13.9 million which will expand EAC-German coöperation through prevention of the pandemic and strengthening of disease surveillance and control.

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