A Memorandum of Cooperation for the development of transportation infrastructure in East Africa has been signed between the East African Community and the United States Trade and Development Agency. The signing ceremony took place in Kampala this week with the U.S. Government signed by the director of the Trade and Development Agency, Larry Walther, Deputy U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Thomas Barrett, and the Secretary General of the East African Community, Ambassador Juma Mwapachu.
A press statement from the U.S. Embassy in Kampala says the Memorandum of Cooperation is intended to promote a senior-level policy dialogue between the United States and East African Community countries on regional transportation infrastructure and interconnectivity. Under the agreement the U.S. will fund an orientation visit to the U.S. for trade, transportation, and infrastructure development ministers and senior officials from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The officials are expected to engage senior-level U.S. government policy officials, development assistance agencies, and U.S. private sector companies on transportation needs in East Africa.
Speaking after the signing, Larry Walther said East African countries have taken important steps to foster growth by integrating their economies. He said significant transportation infrastructure is now required to support increased trade levels and move goods to market.
The program will be funded as part of U.S. Trade and Development Agency's African Trade Lanes Partnership initiative. The initiative seeks to advance the development of sub-Saharan Africa's most vital trade lanes and transportation networks to facilitate local, regional and global trade.
During the two-year initiative, the U.S. will provide four million dollars for transportation infrastructure planning across sub-Saharan Africa, including technical assistance, investment analysis, business workshops, training, project definition, and other critical trade capacity building activities.