Denmark has pledged Euro 450,000 to the East African Community (EAC), specifically for supporting the EAC Observer Mission to the Kenya Elections in March next year.
The pledge was made at the end of a two-day working mission by the EAC secretary general, Dr Richard Sezibera, during which he held talks with the Danish minister for Trade and Investment, Ms Pia Olsen Dyhr, and the minister for Development Cooperation, Ms Christian Friis Bach.
“Dr Sezibera and the two ministers discussed matters regarding EAC regional integration; areas for collaboration between the EAC and Denmark particularly in investment in infrastructure and renewable energy,” a statement by the EAC Secretariat said yesterday.
The Danish government officials were also briefed on the status and way forward on the EAC-EU Economic
Dr Sezibera addressed a public seminar under the theme: “Danish Trade Policy, Regional Integration in Africa and the EU Economic Partnership Agreement Process” at the Danish Institute for International Studies.
He was also part of the roundtable discussion on Approaching a conclusion of the EPA Process: Achievements, Challenges and the Way Forward. He emphasised that the EAC remains committed to concluding the EAC-EU EPA that promotes the regional integration and development of the bloc.
During the mission, Dr Sezibera met the Danish Industry (DI), an association of Danish industries, where he emphasised that the EAC integration is a private sector driven and urged DI to work closely with the EAC through the East African Business Council.
He also made a working visit to Amagerforbraending-Energy Efficiency-a company, which recycles municipal waste and turns it into eco-friendly electricity and a source of heating. The energy-from-solid waste technology has impressed many African countries in recent years.
“The secretary general concluded his mission by signing an agreement with Danish government where the latter will contribute additional resources to the EAC Partnership Fund of Euro 450,000 specifically for supporting the EAC Observer Mission to the Kenyan General Election in March 2013,” the statement said.
Denmark becomes the second Nordic country to sign a financial grant agreement with EAC after a similar pact was sealed recently between the regional organisation and Norway under which the later will grant 30 million Norwegian Krone (approximately $5.3 million) for the period 2012 to 2014.
Dr Sezibera and the Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania with an accreditation to the EAC, Ms Ingunn Klepsvik, signed the agreement in Nairobi, Kenya recently on behalf of the Community and Norway respectively.
The funds, to be disbursed through the EAC’s basket fund mechanism known as the Partnership Fund, will support initiatives to enhance regional integration and socio-economic development of the EAC.
Specifically, the funds will be used to support the implementation of the EAC Development Strategy and provide technical assistance to the Community.
Furthermore, the grant will support institutional and human resource capacity building for the EAC and support key studies required to support regional integration as well as implementation of the study findings.
According to the agreement, an initial disbursement of 10 million Norwegian Krone (approximately $1.8 million) will be made by Norway’s ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Norway is one of the founding members and a contributor to the EAC Partnership Fund.