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EAC embarks Africa on integration: AU Commission chairperson

(Xinhua)

20:45, December 01, 2011

BUJUMBURA, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- The East African Community (EAC) bloc is embarking the whole African continent regarding integration, African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Jean Ping said at the 13th ordinary summit of the EAC heads of state here in the Burundian capital Bujumbura on Wednesday evening.

"We (AU) are proud of the advancement you (the EAC) are making. Your proven dynamism is embarking the whole African continent regarding integration," AU Commission Chairperson Jean Ping said.

The summit was attended by the presidents of Kenya, Burundi and Uganda respectively Mwai Kibaki, Pierre Nkurunziza and Yoweri Museveni, as well as vice-president of Tanzania Mohamed Gharib Bilal and Rwandan Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi.

Participants to the summit also included diplomats, development partners, officials from the EAC partner states namely Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, officials of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and officials of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Ping said the launch of the EAC-COMESA-SADC tripartite was a "key driver" for the integration of the African continent.

The Summit was held under the theme "Consolidating the Common Market and Laying the Foundation for a Monetary Union."

During the summit, Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza and outgoing chairperson of the EAC of state heads summit, handed over the chairmanship to Kenyan President Kibaki.

The Burundian president said that during his one-year tenure the EAC bloc had speedy activities and the implementation of the customs union moved fast during his one-year tenure.

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