The position is held for a year and is rotational among partner states as per article 12 of the Treaty establishing EAC. President Kenyatta failed to hand over to Kikwete in December because the latter was hospitilised in the US.

Consequently, the EAC Heads of State summit, which the EAC Treaty demands physical presence of all the five EAC presidents, failed to take place, ushering in a period of uncertainty as there was no word from the summit. ?The summit will be held next month. It will mark the completion of the process which began in December where the chairmanship of the Council of Ministers has already been handed over to Tanzania,? said EAC Affairs Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie.

?Kenya is handing over after one year of marked success where the country fast-tracked the free movement of goods and people across the border, deepened integration and carried out infrastructure improvements,? she added.

Ms Kandie said Uhuru had disabused the notion that EAC is only for the political class, saying a lot of sensitisation has been going on among the citizens of the three countries during his tenure.

?Last year (2013-14), the President led the other partner states in signing the Monetary Union protocol and now a number of EAC countries are in the process of ratifying the protocol,? she said.

Kandie said since the EAC Treaty allows asymmetrical implementation of the integration process where some countries can go ahead of others, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda have begun implementing infrastructure projects in the Northern corridor.

?This year, Tanzania and Burundi are expected to fast-track infrastructure projects to open up trade in the southern corridor,? she said.

And, Kikwete has appointed Harrison Mwakyembe as the minister for East African Co-operation, swapping positions with Samuel Sita who now takes over the Transport docket.

By Luke Anami, The Standard


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