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Labour and services to flow freely among five EAC states from 2015

12 Dec

East African states are set to ratify a series of agreements to operationalise a one network area for East Africa that will facilitate easy movement on people and trade. They noted that free movement of people within the region improved trade and they would like to extend such improvements beyond that realm. Free movement of people within the region is spearheaded by Rwanda, currently the only country where people in the region are able to obtain work permits without a fee. The immigration authorities of South Sudan, Burundi, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda has been instructed to conclude the agreements on free movement. The partners want a total removal of barriers to free movement of labour and services and strategies to achieve that have reportedly been agreed upon by partner states. They want to remove the work permit fees as quickly as possible in terms of the new measures.

Expanding beyond ease of access to each of the countries, Rwandans, Ugandans, and Kenyans will soon be free to set up businesses across borders without any restrictions once the three East African countries have endorsed a new deal seeking to open up their job markets. The memorandum of understanding was signed under the Northern Corridor. The Northern Corridor is the busiest and most important transport route in East and Central Africa, providing a gateway through Kenya to the landlocked economies of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.The MoU aims to eliminate all restrictions to the free movement of labour and capital among the tripartite members of the broader East African Community (EAC).The MoU aims to eliminate all restrictions to the free movement of labour and capital among the tripartite members of the broader East African Community (EAC). The new initiative seeks to remove any remaining restrictions to the free movement of labour and capital under the East African Common Market Protocol. The new initiative seeks to remove any remaining restrictions to the free movement of labour and capital under the East African Common Market Protocol. Professionals will be allowed to operate in the country and will be subjected to equal treatment as nationals. The aim is to enable the three partner states to get skilled labour and minimise dependency on experts from outside the community.

Under the auspices of the Northern Corridor, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya have already implemented several projects to deepen integration. They include the use of national IDs to cross borders, single tourist visa for foreigners touring the three countries, as well as the single customs territory that has made the movement of goods faster among member states.

 
 

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