Theme: “Deepening and widening regional integration through infrastructure and health sector development in the EAC partner states."
1. The East African Community Heads of State, their Excellencies President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the Republic of Uganda, President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Republic of Kenya, President Salva Kiir Mayardit of the Republic of South Sudan, President Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1st Vice President his Exellency Gaston Sindimwo representing President Pierre Nkurunziza of the Republic of Burundi, Hon. Musoni James, Minister of Infrastructure Representing President Paul Kagame of the Republic of Rwanda, held the joint EAC Heads of State retreat on Infrastructure and Health Financing and Development on 22nd February, 2018 at Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kampala, Uganda.
2. The joint retreat was also attended by several high ranking participants including: honourable ministers/ cabinet secretaries; members of parliament; ambassadors and high commissioners; representatives of UN agencies, the African Union Commission; regional economic communities, cooperating and development partners; the private sector; civil society; and EAC organs and institutions.
3. The heads of state and government met in a warm and cordial atmosphere.
4. The heads of state received opening remarks from Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko, Secretary General of the East African Community.
5. The heads of state received addresses from Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary General of Unctad and Dr. Delanyo Dovlo, the Africa Regional Director for Health Systems and Services cluster for the World Health Organization. Dr. Kituyi emphasized the importance of resilient infrastructure and energy systems in accelerating EAC’s industrialization drive, while Dr. Dovlo urged partner states to invest in.
6. The heads of state received presentations on the outcomes of the infrastructure and health sector roundtables. The presentations noted the status of implementation of the heads of state priority infrastructure projects, highlighting successes and challenges and outlined the health sector investment priorities.
6.1 On infrastructure, the heads of state:
I. Received updates on the implementation of directives of the 3rd retreat and the priority projects;
Ii. Considered and approved new projects from the Republic of South Sudan;
Iii. Considered and approved new projects including projects under civil aviation as directed during the 3rd retreat;
Iv. Considered and approved 17 flagship projects for championing at the heads of state level; and
V. Noted with concern the poor status of road safety in the partner states and the urgent need for deliberate and concerted efforts to address the challenges;
6.2 On health, the heads of state considered and approved the following investment priorities:
I. Expansion of access to specialized health care and cross border health services;
Ii. Strengthening the network of medical reference laboratories and the regional rapid response mechanism to protect the region from health security threats including pandemics, bio-terrorism and common agents;
Iii. Expansion of capacity to produce skilled and professional work force for health in the region based on harmonized regional training and practice standards and guidelines;
Iv. Increase access to safe, efficacious and affordable medicines, vaccines, and other health technologies focusing on prevalent diseases such as malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and other high burden conditions;
V. Upgrading of health infrastructure and equipment in priority national and sub national health facilities/hospitals;
Vi. Establishment of strong primary and community health services as a basis for health promotion and diseases prevention and control;
Vii. Expansion of health insurance coverage and social health protection;
Viii. Improvement of quality of healthcare, health sector efficiency and health statistics; and
Ix. Strengthening of health research and development
7. On infrastructure, the heads of state directed the council to:
A. Enhance capacity in infrastructure projects coordination, preparation and development at the national and regional levels to accelerate the realization of prioritized projects;
B. Mobilize resources required for implementation of new and ongoing priority infrastructure projects;
C. Mainstream innovative financing options including leveraging private sector financing, to supplement available partner state budgetary allocations for implementation of infrastructure projects;
D. Formalize regular and structured engagement coordinated by the secretariat between the partner states, development partners and investors to enhance the rollout of the heads of state priority infrastructure and energy projects;
E. Establish regional frameworks to consistently and effectively address road safety challenges both at national and regional levels including but not limited to harmonization of road safety laws and regulations, enhancement of road safety data collection and management systems, driver training and post trauma management systems; and
F. Inclusion in the heads of state priority projects of soft infrastructure components under information and communications technology systems.
8. On health, the heads of state directed the council to:
A. Mobilize resources to support implementation of the health sector investment priority projects;
B. Strengthen the region’s capacity to effectively prepare and implement the priority projects;
C. Develop comprehensive strategies to combat cross-border health challenges; and
D. Convene heads of state retreats on health every two years.
9. Their Excellencies, President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Republic of Kenya, President Salva Kiir Mayardit of the Republic of South Sudan, President Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1st Vice President his Excellency Gaston Sindimwo representing President Pierre Nkurunziza of the Republic of Burundi and Hon. James Musoni, Minister of Infrastructure representing President Paul Kagame of the Republic of Rwanda thanked their host, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the Republic of Uganda, for the warm hospitality extended to them and their respective delegations during their stay in Kampala and the excellent facilitation of the joint retreat.
Done at Kampala, this 22nd day of February, 2018