On Wednesday (26 February) Minister of State Maria Böhmer met a delegation from the East African Community, headed by Deputy Secretary General Charles Njoroge, for an in‑depth exchange of views.
Minister of State Böhmer was clearly impressed by the level of regional integration that has already been achieved within the East African Community (EAC). Following the creation of a Customs Union and significant progress in building a Common Market, the next step is a Monetary Union, with the long‑term goal of forming a Political Federation.
Minister of State Böhmer, who recently visited the EAC Headquarters in Arusha (Tanzania) on a trip with Federal President Gauck, declared:
The East African Community is a positive example of the great advances being made on the African continent. We are engaged in a partnership which, particularly with the EAC countries, offers considerable political scope and economic opportunities for both sides.
The Minister of State was pleased that the EAC was learning from the development and experiences of the EU, but encouraged the delegation also to stride out on their own. The delegation will be in Berlin until the end of the week as part of the Federal Republic’s Guest Programme and will hold talks at the Bundestag, the Bundesrat and with the Federal Foreign Office’s European Directorate‑General.
During his recent talks in Rwanda (20 – 21 February) and Kenya (22 February), Federal Foreign Minister Frank‑Walter Steinmeier also stressed that Germany was wholeheartedly committed to supporting regional integration in East Africa. He said that the East African Community not only presented a chance to heal some of the wounds inflicted by regional conflicts and advance peace initiatives, but that it also provided an opportunity to expand markets and promote investment in the participating countries.