East African Co-Operation Resumes
Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, once partners in the now-defunct East African Community (EAC), have pledged to renew their co-operation. Although many have heralded the action as a revival of the EAC, the promises made so far are much more loosely based.
President Moi of Kenya, President Museveni of Uganda and President Mwinyi of Tanzama met in the Tanzanian city of Arusha to express their commitment to renewed co-operation.
President Moi, in an address to the Kenyan nation on Jamhuri Day, 12 December 1993, spoke of the pledges made in Arusha. He was speaking on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Kenya's independence. President Museveni and President Mwinyi were present at the celebrations.
"Regional peace and political stability can only be realised when neighbouring countries are willing to co-operate for the mutual benefit of their people," he proclaimed. "It is against this background that I, together with my brothers and colleagues, President Hassan Mwinyi of Tanzania and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, both of whom are here with us, met recently in Arusha and resolved to renew our co-operation as a basis for creating a bigger economic bloc. "I am grateful to my colleagues for their statesmanship in this matter. I would like to assure them of Kenya's determination to play her part for the success of this renewed East African cooperation," President Moi declared.
"This newly found co-operation calls for a unified approach to issues that affect the lives of the people of our three countries. We are brothers and sisters, and we must partake of our successes and failures as such," he noted.
"As a first step in that direction, there is a need for Ministers in charge of Finance from the three sister states in future to consult and release their annual budgetary proposals simultaneously, as was the case in the past. This action will definitely point out the areas and extent of co-operation required," President Moi explained.
Reflecting on Kenya's 30 years of independence, President Moi pointed out that two-thirds of the population of Kenya were born after independence. While accepting that the future will be challenging, the President asserted that the basic economic and social foundation for the years to come has been established. The challenges to be faced include the creation of adequate employment opportunities and "perhaps the most fundamental challenge of all - that of building a united nation".
President Moi declared, "In the past, we have been basically a one-party state. Today, we have a multiparty political system which means that there is, and always will be, a ruling party while other parties are in opposition." While accepting that a multiparty political system involves competition, he stressed that "that competition must not be carried out at the expense of people's interests, now and in the future. Instead of such negative politics, all leaders, whether in politics, religion or other professions, should work together towards the promotion of positive thinking and action by our people."
He added, "The truth of the matter is that our people need peace and food security for their livelihood - hence, the urgent need to address ourselves to important issues such as job creation, achievement of national food security, elimination of poverty, diversification of our exports through industrialisation and, very fundamentally, the removal of tribalism, nepotism and other antinational and antisocial practices from our country."
The President stressed that Kenya - and Africa as a whole - must find its own solutions to its problems. "this is not to say", he continued, "that we do not value the support we get from donors by way of development assistance. I would like to take this opportunity to thank again those donors who met recently in Paris at the Consultative Group meeting for Kenya for agreeing on the resumption of financial support to our country. …