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How the region scored in Common Market Protocols

June 22, 2021

Tanzania attracted more citizens of other partner states to live and work within its borders in the past years, a new scorecard on the Common Market shows. The country issued 19,629 residents permits compared with Kenya’s 2,378, Uganda’s eight and Burundi’s 459.

The report shows that Kenya and Tanzania issued the highest number of work permits to other EAC citizens between January 2019 and December 2020. Kenya issued 2,378 work permits to mostly Tanzanian and Ugandan nationals, while Tanzania issued 1,664 work permits mostly to Kenyans and Ugandans.

Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi attracted the highest number of students from other partner states between 2019 and 2020.

The Common Market Protocols (CMP) scorecard covering the period between January 2019 to December 2020 was prepared by the “31st meeting of the Sectoral Council of ministers responsible for EAC Affairs and Planning,” who met in Arusha from June 7-11 and attended by Secretary-General Peter Mathuki and all EAC Affairs ministers except Uganda’s.

“The EAC has made tremendous progress under the six freedoms of the CMP. This is an indication that the Community is getting back on track,” said Dr Mathuki.

“Intra-EAC trade has increased among the EAC partner states in the past 10 years. And we have no choice. That is why we are widening to include the DR Congo to become the seventh member to the EAC,” he added.

The CMP, which provides for “Six freedoms” — free movement of goods, persons, capital, labour, and services; right of establishment; and the right of residence — came into force 11 years ago.

The CMP’s Free Movement of Persons regulations entitles citizens of a Partner State to enter into a territory of the host Partner State and stay up to six months.

“One of the key strategic outcomes of the meeting was on the implementation of the CMP,” said Kevit Desai, Principal Secretary, Ministry of EAC and Regional Affairs and chairperson, EAC Permanent Secretaries Sectoral Council on EAC Affairs and Planning meeting.

Dr Desai who chaired the Technical Task Force team from all the EAC Partner states during the meeting said that the EAC intends to plan for a dedicated summit retreat on the CMP by February 2022.

“The main objectives of the retreat will be among others to deliberate on the status of the implementation of the CMP and the achievements realised,” he said.

The scorecard showed that Kenya admitted the highest number of students from other partner states willing to study in the country.

In the report, Uganda and Burundi witnessed a drop in the number of citizens of other states that moved and were granted stay at particular intervals between January and December in 2019. Rwanda and South Sudan were yet to compile their statistics over free movement of persons by May.

On free movement of goods, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania implemented more than 4,000 tariff lines at different intervals since January 2019 out of 5,440 tariff lines agreed upon at the EAC level.

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