The East African Community (EAC) Monday signed a cooperation agreement with the German government worth $65 million for the implementation of projects in the areas of health, digital skills and water resources management.
Part of the amount, $17 million, has been allocated to the University of Rwanda where it will be used to expand its expertise in the areas of digitalisation in health supply chain management, cold-chain management, and quality control and drug safety.
Under the health sector, an additional $30 million will be released for the EAC’s immunisation programme with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, that will contribute to reducing child morbidity and mortality in the region.
The funds will finance the procurement of at least four different types of vaccines – Pentavalent, Rotavirus, Pneumococcal and Measles second dose.
This will be made available for routine immunisation and immunisation campaigns for children in all the six EAC partner states.
Part of the amount will also be allocated to cater for the Integrated Water Resource Management Programme, implemented by the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC).
The Centre of Excellence for ICT in East Africa based at Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) in Arusha will get $6 million to strengthen digital skills and innovation among East Africans.
NM-AIST is, along with the Inter-University Council for East Africa, manning the centre aimed at promoting embedded and mobile systems training, innovation transfer and entrepreneurship.
“The EAC and the Federal Republic of Germany have enjoyed a long-standing partnership since the EAC inception. It is my intention to continue strengthening this partnership,” said Dr Peter Mathuki, the EAC Secretary General, during the signing of the agreement with Germany’s Ambassador to Tanzania, Ms Regine Hess.
Ambassador Hess promised that Germany will commit additional funds of up to $6.6 million for pandemic preparedness and response in 2021, to be implemented through existing EAC-German programmes on pandemic preparedness, economic integration and digital skills.
The German government has, since the revival of the bloc about 22 years ago, committed over Euros 516.88 million ($631 million) to EAC integration programmes and projects, focusing on economic and social integration, Dr Mathuki said.
“We’re committed to continue this cooperation under your new leadership of the EAC Secretariat,” the German envoy assured Dr Mathuki.
Written by Luke Anami and Patty Magubira