Deputy President William Ruto is urging East African leaders to stop trade conflicts in order to grow the region.
Dr Ruto said he was concerned that the progress made in the five-member trading bloc was somehow being undermined by actions of some leaders in the region.
“The East African Community (EAC) is the most progressive economic bloc in the Southern Hemisphere. We have seen tremendous growth among member countries because of the integration,” said the Deputy President.
Speaking in Munyonyo, Uganda, during the Africa Now Summit 2019, Dr Ruto said East African leaders should focus on issues that would make EAC thrive.
He noted that the leaders know what is right, and what is wrong for the bloc, but some of them were indirectly pushing for policies that would hamper integration.
“I do not know what is wrong. We all know what is right, but we are not doing that,” he said.
Dr Ruto said it was unfortunate that some blockades were being put in some borders “yet we should all be busy thinking of how to eliminate work permits…”
“Such actions make us really concerned. We need to accommodate each other and allow the factors of production to move freely across the region.”
The Deputy President asked President Yoweri Museveni to act as a father-figure in providing leadership to make EAC match forward.
“We cannot afford to lose all that we have achieved as a bloc. We need to channel our energies back to making Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania one,” said Dr Ruto.