Supporting the wheels of integration: 35 cyclists from EAC member state flagged off in Kampala
Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Equity Bank Uganda Ltd together with the Ministry of East African Affairs, today flagged off the 5th edition of the Great African Cycling Safari (GACS) at the bank Headquarters in Kampala, Uganda.
GACS is an annual bicycle tour to showcase the East African Community in all its beauty, multiplicity, and reflecting the cultural diversity of the people living in the East African region.
The tour also aims at promoting inter-country trade among EAC member states and raise awareness about climate changes in the region.
The cyclists drawn from across the EAC partner states join this cycling event to take the EAC integration process from the level of abstract policy making in government offices to the people at the grassroots level to show that integration is alive and beneficial to all citizens.
This year’s safari started on 1st August 2022 in Mombasa, Kenya, reaching Arusha in Northern Tanzania within just one week and then, to Burundi, Rwanda and they entered Uganda on September 7th, 2022, through the Gatuna border point.
The tour of 2022 has aims at promoting the goals of the EAC; promoting trade and tourism across the Community, and mitigating challenges posed by climate change.
Flagging off the cyclists, Rebecca Kadaga, Minister for East African Affairs hailed the cyclists for their resilience and tireless efforts in promoting and creating awareness on the integration process.
Equity bank Executive Director Elizabeth Mwerinde Kasedde said that the tour is an excellent opportunity to promote inter-country trade and awareness amongst the EAC member states.
“GACS vision is in tandem with the wishes of Equity bank, which has been keen on promoting intercountry trade within the region. Equity aims at seeing trade volumes grow amongst member states and hence transforming the lives of people at the grassroots across the region,” said Ms Mwerinde.
The tour brings awareness to Equity’s regional footprints with a focus on inter-country trade, trade financing and digital suits among others.
Equity Bank recently rolled out a $6billion (Uhs24 trillion) Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan at the EAC headquarters in Arusha aimed at supporting businesses across the region to quickly recover and thrive post COVID19 through providing short-term loans, medium- and long-term loans.
Mwerinde said the Ush 24 trillion revolving fund is available for individuals and businesses across the region to borrow over the next 5 years whether they are in Agriculture, Manufacturing, Trade and Investments, Service Industry, Mining and extraction, Oil and gas, Energy, Hospitality, Health, Technology, Logistics, Infrastructure, and transport.
The next stop for the cyclists will be at Jinja town and from there they will proceed to Busia before arriving in Nairobi for the Grand Finale on 25th September 2022.