You will now be able to work in any of the East African countries without incurring any extra costs starting in 2015.Currently, it is only in Rwanda where people from within the bloc obtain work permits without paying a fee.However, during the eighth Northern Corridor Infrastructure Project Summit in Nairobi yesterday, President Uhuru Kenyatta, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame of Rwanda noted that free movement of people within the region had improved trade.
The presidents have therefore directed their ministers in charge of immigration to conclude the Agreement on Total Liberalisation of Free Movement of Labour and Services agreed upon at an earlier meeting.Others were South Sudan Vice President Jasmes Igga and officials from Burundi, Tanzania and Ethiopia. The summit was a follow-up of another one in Kampala in October.
It also directed the operationalisation of one network area for the region starting from next year to facilitate easy communicate.“The Summit has further directed removal of all non-tariff barriers and emphasised the need for compliance by all parties,” said a joint communiqué.Journalists were not allowed to cover the discussions that started late in the afternoon. They were only briefed by a team of ministers led by Kenyan Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed.
The summit discussed need to facilitate smooth flow of cargo across the borders. The Northern Corridor links East African countries rail, oil pipeline, road and inland water transport. Apart from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi, other countries that are part of the EAC are Ethiopia and South Sudan.The states also directed the minister of infrastructure of Rwanda to convene an airline industry stakeholders meeting to finalise the 5th freedom traffic rights on Entebbe-Nairobi-Juba-Nairobi by end of this month.