At the invitation by the Secretary General of the East African Community, Her Excellency Dr Stergomena, the Executive Secretary of SADC attended the 17th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State and Government, which took place in Dar es Salaam, the United Republic of Tanzania on 8th September 2016.
The Summit was chaired by His Excellency President Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli of the United Republic of Tanzania and Chairperson of the Summit and attended by their Excellencies President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the Republic of Uganda, President Paul Kagame of the Republic of Rwanda, Deputy President William Ruto of the Republic of Kenya and Ambassador Alain Aimé Nyamitwe, Minister of External Relations and International Cooperation of the Republic of Burundi. In their statements, the Heads of State thanked their host, for the warm and cordial hospitality extended to them and their respective delegations during their stay in Dar es Salaam.
The Summit focused on: the signing of the EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA); the political crisis in Burundi; matters relating to the Republic of South Sudan, and the appointment and swearing in of a new Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community Secretariat. The outcome of the Summit was a Communique highlighting the issues agreed upon during the Summit. In the Communique, the Summit resolved to postpone the signing of the EPA, commended the progress on the mediation efforts in Burundi; congratulated Burundi for expediting the delivery of the Instruments of Accession to the EAC and appointed the Deputy Secretary General of the EAC.
The Participation of the SADC Secretariat at the Summit was aimed at further strengthening the cordial relationship that exists between the EAC and SADC. The participation at the Summit also provided an understanding of the dynamics regarding the EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreement. This understanding will be vital in better guiding the SADC region as it considers matters relating to the ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreement.