With all the resources in the East African countries, cooperation will be the main catalyst for member states to achieve development.
Last week president Yoweri Museveni was in Tanzania to complete the East African crude oil pipeline project. This pipeline could be the longest electrically heated crude oil pipeline in the world.
The EACOP is a 1,443km pipeline that will transport crude oil from Uganda to the Indian Ocean coast in Tanzania. It will lead to a substantial rise in Foreign Direct Investment for both countries.
This is a great achievement to East Africa because it will unlock East Africa’s potential by attracting investors and companies to explore the potential in the region.
The Economic Commission for Africa in 2016 indicated that East Africa registered the fastest economic growth compared to other regions on the continent with an impressive growth rate of 5.5% and this can even be realized when the countries in East Africa cooperate.
This is because they have all the necessary resources like President Museveni said “Unlike Japan or Korea or Saudi Arabia who do not have oil or only have oil, East Africa has got everything: agriculture, minerals, forests, oil, gas etc. Once the environmental concerns are addressed, the sky is the limit”.
The President went on and said; “East Africa must unite for survival. The East Africa population is projected to be 401 million people by 2050, hence will need a market for our businesses. Furthermore, a Political Federation is our direct route to strategic security, we cannot build walls between sister countries”.
With cooperation among the member states the full economic potential of these countries will be realized. The Oil pipeline project will contribute towards the enhancement of the central corridor between Uganda and Tanzania through the development of new infrastructure, Logistics, technology transfer and the improvement of the livelihoods of East Africans.
It will create employment for both highly skilled and semi-skilled professionals and casual workers.
The pipeline will also provide business opportunities for the different sectors of the economy involved in the pipeline design, construction and operation and create a trickle down economic effect spurring the development of local content.
As Henry Ford once said that; “Coming together is a beginning; Keeping together is progress; Working together is success”.
All East African community member states should join Uganda and Tanzania and work together for region’s development to be achieved.