EAC Secretary General underscores the role of innovations and industrialization in East Africa

14 Jun 2018

East African Community Secretariat, Arusha, Tanzania, 14th June 2018: East African Community Secretary General Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko has underscored the role of Science, Technology and Innovations (STI) in transforming East Africa countries from largely agro-based economies into competitive industrialized ones.

Amb. Mfumukeko said that the six EAC Partner States have the great capacity to create wealth for their citizens by harnessing STI to attain industrial development.

Amb. Mfumukeko said it was worrying that the region was now consuming goods that were manufactured elsewhere, adding that by doing this it was exporting jobs and revenues that would ordinarily have benefited EAC citizens.

The Secretary General further noted that innovators in the region have little or no assistance from governments and other stakeholders in STI to transform their ideas into products and services.

He said that to address these and other challenges to industrialization in East Africa, the EAC had put in place the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO), an institution of the EAC that would push for the promotion of STI throughout the region.

Amb. Mfumukeko said that it was by promoting a culture of innovations that the region would be able to make its industrial and service sectors more productive and competitive.

The SG was speaking when he toured the EASTECO Headquarters in Kigali, Rwanda.

The SG disclosed that more than 50 per cent of the EAC population consisted of well-educated youth in need of jobs, adding that the Community would therefore work with all stakeholders to promote innovations and singled out the private sector that he described as the main creator of employment in the world today.

In her remarks, the Executive Secretary of EASTECO, Ms Gertrude Ngabirano, said it was unfortunate that East Africa was still exporting raw materials to industrialized nations and in turn importing goods manufactured from the same raw material at prices 10 times higher than the value of its exports.

Ms Ngabirano said the onus was on the region to reverse this trend by using technology to produce more and add value to its raw materials.

The ES said that countries that had the capacity to innovate were the only ones with greater potential to grow their economies. She said EAC countries could harness synergies in STI with each specializing in different sectors.

Also present at the function was the Deputy Executive Secretary of EASTECO, Dr Saidi Kibeya.

Amb. Mfumukeko later toured the Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation (LVWATSAN) projects in Nyanza District, 90km south of Kigali.

Five EAC Partner States, namely Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania received US$25 million each through to implement water supply and sanitation projects.

Among the projects the SG toured were the LVWATSAN water intake and supply projects that provide clean drinking water to the 48,000 residents of Nyanza town and its environs.

The local residents said the project had transformed the lives and spurred economic activity in the town.

Accompanying the SG on the tour were Governor of Rwanda’s Southern Province Governor, Ms Marie Rose Mureshyankwano, the Mayor of Nyanza District, Hon. Ntazinda Erasme, and Ms Gisele Umuhumuza, the Deputy CEO (Water and Sanitation Services) at the Nyanza Water and Sanitation Company.


The East African Science and Technology (EASTECO) is an institution of the EAC whose mandate is to promote cooperation in the development of science and technology within the Community. EASTECO’s specific objectives include among other things: Regional Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy formulation; Joint development and application of science and technology, and; promotion of regional research centres of excellence.

Lake Victoria Water Supply and Sanitation (LVWATSAN II) Project is a programme of the EAC, coordinated by the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) and implemented in 15 towns within five Partner States of the Community. The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the EAC Partner States are the financiers of the programme.


For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at]

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of six Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified