Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza Wednesday launched the week marking the 10th anniversary of Burundi’s admission into the East African Community (EAC), committing to pursue the country’s integration into the bloc.
“I call upon officials closely following up the integration of Burundi in EAC to continue pursuing the country’s integration,” Nkurunziza said.
The EAC, made up of six countries including Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan and Uganda has not yet reached the monetary union and the political federation – the last step of the bloc’s integration.
According to Nkurunziza, the challenge is “harmonising” in the EAC in order to spearhead the bloc’s integration.
“We (Burundi) also have to harmonise our laws in the EAC region in order to avoid being obstacles to the full integration of the bloc,” Nkurunziza added.
He said such laws that need to be harmonised notably include tax administration policies.
Nkurunziza underlined that Burundi has had good relationships with other East African countries even before the colonial period.
“Before the colonial period, Burundian citizens went to Tanzania or Uganda to buy goods like salt that could not be found on the local market. Others went to those countries to seek jobs when Burundi was facing famine or hunger,” Nkurunziza said.
Burundi and Rwanda were admitted to the EAC in July 2007, joining Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
South Sudan joined the EAC in March 2017.