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East African mulls COVID-19 economic recovery plan

Samia Suluhu and Uhuru Kenyatta. The EAC is considering a joint effort on COVID.

Nairobi, Kenya | XINHUA | The East African Community (EAC), a regional economic bloc, is planning to develop a COVID-19 economic recovery plan to help the region rebuild from the negative effect of the pandemic.Juvenal Ndimurirwo, director of finance for the EAC Secretariat, told a virtual meeting Friday that the strategy will be championed by the EAC sectoral council of ministers in charge of trade, investment and industry.

“The plan might be unveiled in the second half of this year and is expected to address short and medium term negative impact of COVID-19 on trade and business in the region,” Ndimurirwo said during the Deloitte budget analysis for the 2021/22 financial year.

The EAC member states include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.

The EAC official revealed that the strategy will provide a roadmap to identify a middle ground on issues where countries are taking isolated measures to reduce the effects of the pandemic.

Ndimurirwo added that there is currently a lack of harmonization of COVID-19 testing procedures along the common border points and this represents non-tariff barriers to the flow of goods and people across the region.

He said that the plan will ensure that government measures put in place to combat pandemic not affect operations of the private sector.

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