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EAfrican leaders to sign customs pact

19th November 2003

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The presidents of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda are to sign a customs pact at the end of the month, a major step towards economic integration of the region, an official said yesterday.

"We are now finalising the protocol ready for signing on November 30, which will be a major step in our journey towards regional integration," Ali Mchumo of the East African Community (EAC) said.

He said the ceremony would mark celebrations on the fourth anniversary of the launch of the EAC, which aims at creating a common market, currency and ultimately a political federation for the area's 80-million people modeled upon the European Union.

Mchumo said the customs union was being established after the three EAC member countries earlier this year adopted a series of common tariffs for imports into the region.

The adopted CET duty rates are zero for raw materials, 10% for intermediate or semi-finished goods and 25% for finished products imported into the region.

The summit will bring together presidents Mwai Kibaki of Kenya, Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda. – Sapa-AFP.
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