The EAC Regional Programme for Sensitisation of Border Communities commenced 24 June 2014, at Rusumo town which sits at the border of Rwanda and Tanzania. The programme’s overall objective is to raise awareness among cross-border communities within the EAC region, with particular focus on small scale traders to enhance their understanding of the EAC integration agenda, as well as identify the stakes and opportunities of the EAC integration.
Simplified and audience-tailored presentations were delivered by Microjustice Rwanda (MJR) on the Customs Union and Common Market opportunities, benefits, requirements, processes and procedures for acquiring legal documents for free movement of goods, services, labour and capital at the border posts.
Participants of the programmes raised concerns on various issues that affect the smooth undertaking of business across the border points, including non-adherence to the rules and regulations stipulated in the EAC Treaty as well as corruption within the customs and immigration departments. The queries and concerns were subsequently addressed by representatives from the Ministries of East African Community Affairs from Rwanda and Tanzania, also present at the workshop.
To achieve the objective of the sensitisation programme, a training session was also conducted by EAC Youth Ambassadors to inspire the youth into spearheading the EAC integration agenda in their communities.
The next sensitisation workshop is set to be carried out at Manyovu and Mugina towns in Tanzania and Burundi.