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Etude de pipeline Dar es Salaam vers monbasa

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News Tanzanie Auj. à 10:35
Natural gas pipeline studies over
By Zephania Ubwani, Arusha

Feasibility studies for the Dar es Salaam-Tanga-Mombasa natural gas pipeline have been completed, it has been announced here.

The project, to be undertaken within the framework of the East African Power Master Plan, has also been approved by the East African Community sectoral council on energy. It is now awaiting funds for its implementation.

Revealing this in an address to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), President Paul Kagame of Rwanda said the project would consolidate power generation and transmission in the region.

He said extension of an oil pipeline from Eldoret, Kenya to Kampala, Uganda was progressing well and would be completed by the year-end.

Also finalised is a feasibility study on extending the same pipeline from Kampala to Kigali and Bujumbura, he revealed.

The Rwandese leader also told the legislators that the EA Power Master Plan, formulated in 2005, has been reviewed and updated following the accession of his country and Burundi into the EAC.

He said energy projects in the region were being consolidated as part of comprehensive strategic plans for infrastructure development. They all aim at facilitating trade and investments and making EA more competitive than before, he said.

Other projects now in progress are the EAC Broadband Infrastructure Network covering both the East African Marine System and East African Sub Marine Cable System.

"Though the two are separate projects, they share one objective of providing broadband international connectivity in our countries," he said.

According to President Kagame, the EA Marine System project would be operational by the end of this year. On the other hand, the EA Sub-Marine Cable System would be commercially operational next year, he noted.

However, he would not reveal the cost of the twin projects. He said they were being spearheaded by the private sector in collaboration with the partner states.

President Kagame, who is the current chairman of the EAC heads of state summit, admitted that the regional organisation was encountering drawbacks in negotiations for the EAC Common Market Protocol. But he expressed hope that they would be concluded by next April.

The "thorny" issues hindering the progress of the negotiations, which started last April, include access to land by non-citizens within the regional bloc, movement of people within the region and the right to permanent residence.

"This is the time for bold steps not only in terms of resolving these outstanding matters that are obstructing the Common Market, but also they require us to execute critical decisions that we have already made," he said.

He urged partner states to speed up the negotiations, saying non-tariff barriers (NTBs) and red tape continued to hamper smooth trade. They also increased the cost of doing business in the region, he lamented.

He said the EAC would continue to pursue the Tripartite Arrangement it signed with Comesa and Sadc regional blocs in Kampala last October.

The arrangement aims to establish a free trade area and later a customs union covering the three blocs.

He called for fast-tracking of the introduction of a single tourist visa for EA to facilitate free movement of tourists in the region. This would make it more competitive in tourism business than other regions, he said.

"With regard to the negotiations for the comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union, we must work harder as a bloc to meet the threshold date of July 2009 for completion of the exercise," he said.

Earlier, EALA Speaker Abdirahin Haithar Abdi said the regional parliament would soon forward a report on the concerns and recommendations of the EA people on the proposed Common Market to the EAC Council of Ministers, the policy organ of the EAC.

Public hearing workshops on the protocol for the EA Common Market were conducted in all five partner states of Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda in December last year.

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