Kenya calls for regional trade blocs to expand market

08:31, November 06, 2009      

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Kenya said on Thursday that countries from the Great Lakes Region with their small economies and small populations will continue to experience under-development unless they are integrated into a larger regional market.

Kenyan Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka noted that this problem is compounded by the fact that most of these countries only recently emerged from conflict situations.

Such countries therefore, he said, need to invest in peace and reconciliation efforts to foster national unity as a pre-requisite for creating an enabling environment to attract foreign investments.

"We must therefore work towards the attainment of sustainable growth and development of member states by promoting macro-economic policies, programs, and joint ventures in all fields of economic activities," Musyoka said at the opening ceremony of the donor table conference for the Great Lakes Region in Bujumbura, Burundi.

According to a statement issued here, Musyoka called for cross border investments and joint research initiatives in order to develop the manufacturing capacity of all the countries in the Great Lakes Region.

The Vice President reiterated the importance of the pact on security, stability and development in the Great Lakes Region that was signed in Nairobi during the second summit of December 2006.

"You will recall that member states declared their collective determination to transform the region into a hub of sustainable peace and security. Now that the region is enjoying relative peace we must move as fast as possible to bring the peace dividend to our people," Musyoka said.

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