The regional bloc comprises six member states in the African Great Lakes region in eastern Africa, namely: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
The funds – approved through the Regional Integration Strategy for Eastern Africa (RISP 2018-2022) – will help enhance regional transport connectivity, regional energy infrastructure, regional information and communications technology connectivity and management of trans-boundary water resources, officials said.
The funds will also support projects aimed at accelerating implementation of the regional single market, trade development, including tackling of non-tariff barriers, and putting in place policy frameworks for industrialization and promotion of EAC as a single investment destination.
According to AfDB Director General for Eastern Africa Region, Gabriel Negatu, the investment in agriculture and industrialization was crucial for the development of the region.
He said the opportunity for industrial growth exists in locally producing inputs for use in the agricultural sector.
EAC is still the fastest growing region partly due to solving bottlenecks of communication by investing heavily in infrastructure, Negatu said.
Note that the Regional Integration Strategy Paper 2018-2022 maps out the direction of the Bank’s regional integration work in Eastern Africa over the next five years. The key objectives are fast-tracking structural transformation, increasing trade and promoting financial sector integration and inclusion.