September 18, 2013

Tanzania, Burundi Left out of Talks on EAC Single Visa

The so-called coalition of the willing comprising Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda has continued with its East African Community bloc integration effort without Tanzania and Burundi.

Gorrillas in Virunga

Gorrillas in Virunga

It has emerged that experts from Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda met in Kigali on Thursday to advance discussions on how to implement the directive of their heads of state to have a single tourist visa available from 2014 onwards, to enhance the flow of tourist visitors across the three countries without additional fees.

This comes after the East African Community Council of Ministers officially sought clarification on why the three countries have been running a parallel integration agenda that sidelines the other two partners.

Early this month the Council directed its chairperson, Uganda’s EAC Affairs minister Shem Bageine, to prepare full information on the blossoming alliance between Kenya and its landlocked neighbours Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.

“The Council requested the chairperson of the Council to provide more information on these developments to the Council at its 28th Meeting,” the ministers said after their meeting earlier this month.

The EAC secretariat has denied any divisions, saying the region’s treaty allows members to sign pacts for implementing milestones agreed at regional level as long as there was room for others to join when ready.

But the “coalition of the willing” went a step further in its Mombasa meeting last month by resolving for fast track the political federation.

“The issue of passport-free travel also came up for discussion, with a proposal that nationals of the three countries should only be able to use ID cards or voter registration cards to travel from one member state to another,” said a source who attended the meeting.

According to reports, another summit will be held in two months in Kigali to review what the panel of experts has agreed on before implementing visa and ID travel arrangements.

One of the things agreed as far as the single tourist visa is concerned is that the cost of $100 for a document covering all three countries will be shared equally, with each country being allocated $30 while the first entry point country will get a further $10 for administration cost.

“The information (on single tourist visa) was received with great enthusiasm by the tourism sectors of the three countries where hopes are high that the measures will increase the number of visitor and revenues,” Mr Thomas Steinmetz of the eTN, a travel news website, said.

It was pointed out though that provisions must be made for duly registered expatriates resident in any of the three countries to travel freely across the borders without having to pay additional fees from January.

@The Citzen

5 thoughts on “Tanzania, Burundi Left out of Talks on EAC Single Visa

  1. This is bad but I think Tanzania deserves it. See Tanzania thinks the alliance will suck up its resources,well they can go develop alone if they want The times are for the willing and not the for the stalling.

  2. Good move. TZ is dragging its feet in everything when it comes to intergretion. They appear so suspecious of every move. Any way, they appear to be more interested in SADC than EAC.

    1. Tanzania is a great country that can go far without kenya, uganda and Rwanda. the only move going on here is a competitive economic war between Tanzania and kenya, uganda and rwanda are just used by kenya without their knowledge. for a land locked countries like uganda and rwanda to put their feet on one side its dangerous because when things go bad in kenya you will have no place as altenative. you ignore and subortage Dar port, there are times when you will need dar port and Tanzania will raise fees for you because you will not be friend with him. as a wise president/country uganda/rwanda you will be in a better position to have two altenatives both kenya/mombasa and Tanzania dar port. because there are times you never know you will beg tz. no one knows what the future holds for you. uhuru kenyatta is using you as an instrument to retaliate Bagamoyo port and the massive development in tz, unfortunately the chinese have put both feet into tz and there are many wonders not yet disclosed which will make kenya speechless. think about this uganda.

      as for rwanda, tz does not even want to waste time thing about them, because they add very little to tz. i only pray kagame opponents or even museven won’t be trained by tz to overthrow the dictatorship if tz turns enemy of these two dictators. if i were president of tz, i would be training kayumba nyamwasa and others today to bring down kagame. but for tz, the only punishment for rwanda is to block the m23 and goma/kivu etc where minerals are smuggled from congo to build rwanda, there the only place rwanda/kagame gets pride of money, other wise, they will depend on selling coffee, tea and women.

  3. @disqus_XYipu5jcui:disqus thats being short sighted TZ is a democray while what you are proud off are all dictatorships … They will go and TZ will still be functioning while you will be buying bread with a wheel barrow full of your useless shillings watch this space

  4. I agree with Mushanju. The whole EAC project is Museveni’s idea of wanting to be the President of EA. If he was barred from being one, I can assure you, he would not go for the Union. Assuming we unionise, will a Ugandan easily acquire land in Kisumu, Singida, Morogoro, Kiambu and vice versa?

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