Rwanda’s Christophe Bazivamo is set to be sworn in as new Deputy Secretary General to the East African Community (EAC) in charge of administration and finance on Thursday.
Bazivamo who was a member of parliament at the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is expected to take oath on the opening day of the 17th extra ordinary summit of EAC heads of state summit according to communication from the body’s spokesperson, Owora Richard Othieno.
The summit is expected to address concerns regarding the federation’s council of ministers report regarding the EU-EAC trade partnership agreement.
The agreement has been a cause of concern for some EAC member states with only Rwanda and Kenya signing it last week.
Failure by the other members to endorse the agreement is set to affect the exports of products from all member states to Europe since a single customs territory requires all member states to sign.
Tanzania and Uganda had expressed reservations regarding the agreement citing Britain’s exit of the European Union as grounds for renegotiating the contract.
Former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa is expected to present his report on the inter-Burundi dialogue. South Sudan crisis is also expected to take centre stage at the summit.
Meanwhile, there are growing concerns at the secretariat’s headquarters in Arusha regarding the Secretary General Liberat Mfumukeko’s recent actions.
Mfumukeko is believed to have stopped the EAC delegation from attending various crucial meetings in Kigali, including the 27th African Union general assembly and the just concluded tripartite Global Africa Investment summit.
The concluded Global African investment summit brought together stakeholders from the continent who among other things discussed the way forward regarding the implementation of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA).
TFTA is an arrangement between Comesa, EAC and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) launched in June last year as the largest trading bloc on the continent.
The absence of the EAC delegation has raised eye brows concerning the functionability of the secretariat whose employees seem to be frustrated with the Secretary General’s actions calling them, “backward and uncalled for.”
Meanwhile, Bazivamo is part of four Deputy Secretary Generals who serve different dockets to include; productive and social sectors; planning and infrastructure; political federation and finance and administration.