Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni is the newly elected First Vice Chairperson of the African Union. The ageing leader who has been in power for over three decades has recently attracted a lot of criticism for anti-democratic behaviours, his stance on gay marriage and not doing enough to improve Uganda’s economic situation.
Tanzania’s president Dr. John Magufuli is a new elected leader who has been widely acclaimed for his dynamic leadership and a series of decisions taken soon after arriving in power to help improve the state of Tanzanian public finance and encourage citizen’s participation in the development of the country.
have agreed to meet over talks on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
The two heads of state are currently in a AU meeting in Ethiopia.
Kenya and Rwanda have already signed the deal but it won’t be operational until all the East African Community member states sign the agreement, which is protested by Tanzania.
EAC Heads of State led by their chairman President John Magufuli agreed in September to push for more time, the bloc’s commitment on the deal to allow more deliberations and negotiations on the matter.
President Museveni said they needed to discuss the issue, point on point because scattering it without discussion would be a mistake.
“EPA is also about East Africans. If we scatter it without discussions, it would be a mistake. Am more worried about the unity of East Africa,” he said.
The Tanzanian parliament already voted against signing of the EPA negotiated between the EU and member states of the East African Community (EAC).
The two leaders also discussed the situation in Burundi and agreed to meet and to harmonise on how to handle the situation.
President Magufuli commended President Museveni as mediator in the Burundi peace process and Former Tanzania President Benjamin Mkapa as facilitator for their efforts to engage all stakeholders in dialogue.
The two leaders agreed to hold a meeting later in February ahead of the next EAC session.