[10th February 2012]

EAST AFRICAN AMBASSADORS IN TOKYO HOST VISITING SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY

The East African Community Ambassadors based in Tokyo, Japan held a working dinner for the visiting Secretary-General, H.E. Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera on 8th February, 2012.

The Forum which was hosted at the Kenya residence is a monthly event that brings together Ambassadors of the United Republic of Tanzania, the Republic of Uganda, the Republic of Rwanda, and the Republic of Kenya to discuss issues of interest ranging from the East African integration to emerging issues in the diplomatic world.

Yesterday’s meeting was also attended by the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps which made the forum a good opportunity to welcome and exchange views with the visiting Secretary General of the East African Community.

During the get together, the Ambassadors present briefed the EAC Secretary General on the various diplomatic initiatives in Japan as well as the activities of the African Ambassadors in Tokyo under the aegis of the African Diplomatic Corps (ADC).

On his part, the visiting Secretary General thanked the EAC Ambassadors for their invitation and commended the Government of Japan for the TICAD Initiative. He hoped that the East African Community can benefit from some infrastructure projects under TICAD in line with the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) which is Africa’s blueprint for infrastructure development under the African Union.

Other matters deliberated during the East African Ambassadors’ forum included the need to open up the East African Air Space for increased air travel, progress in dealing with non-tariff barriers (NTBs) to trade within the sub-region as well as the need to promote regional tourism. The meeting also observed the need for other measures to promote the movement of goods and persons and security within the community including measures such as improving the EAC Passport, the issuance of new ID Cards amongst other matters.

At the end of the meeting, the EAC Ambassadors thanked the Secretary-General for graciously accepting their invitation and for sharing with them important insights into the work of the EAC secretariat. They observed the importance of regular consultations and information sharing between the EAC Secretariat and the East African Ambassador’s Forum in Tokyo.

The Secretary-General was in Japan on a 5-day official visit at the invitation of the Japanese Government. During his stay, he held meetings with various senior ranking officials of the Government of Japan as well as key industry leaders with business interests in the East African sub-region. He also gave a key note address on the East African Integration process at the United Nations University before undertaking field trips to selected parts of Japan.

EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA
TOKYO-JAPAN.

Seated from left to right:- H.E. Mrs. Salome T. Sijaona, Ambassador of Tanzania; Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera, Secretary General, the East African Community; H.E. Mr. Benson H. O. Ogutu Ambassador of Kenya and H.E. Mr. Stuart H. Comberbach Ambassador of Zimbabwe/Dean of the ADC

Standing left to right:- Mr. Paul K. Ndung’u Deputy Head of Mission Kenya Embassy; Ms. Tomomi Tokuori JICA Advisor, Directorate of Infra and Planning EAC; Mr. Philip Wambugu Director, Directorate of Infra and Planning EAC; Mr. Emmanuel Niyonkuru Protocol Officer EAC; H.E. Mr. Wasswa Biriggwa Ambassador of Uganda and H.E. Dr. Charles Murigande Ambassador of Rwanda.

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