TOUR D’ EAC 2017 – A NOBLE IDEA AND MUCH NEEDED TO ADDRESS THE GROWING FRAGMENTATION
(Posted 11th March 2017)
The 2017 4.200 km 45 day Tour D’ EAC cycling expedition is this year themed: ‘Unlocking East Africa’s Trade and Tourism potential through an effective and efficient Integration Process‘.
It is aimed at telling the world that there is a region somewhere in the Eastern part of Africa called the East African Community or in short EAC, where free movement of goods and people is supposed to be the order of the day, given the vision of the founding fathers of EAC One and EAC Two.
Riding through the region is also supposed to showcase how safe it is to cycle the region and the promoters of the tour have gone a step further even, saying East Africa is the safest region in Africa.
The tour will start in Uganda and then make its way through Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda back to Uganda with the final line being crossed outside the South Sudanese Embassy in Kampala.
South Sudan is not part of the routing, a sharp reminder that the country’s security situation does not permit such a peaceful exercise, but also a reminder that South Sudan is clearly not ready to be a fully integrated member of the EAC as long as security hasn’t been fully restored and legislation, regulations, policies, financial and monetary approaches and equally important immigration measures have been harmonized.
Many derogatory comments have been seen on social media when Uganda and Kenya in particular took exception on the recently introduced new residence and work permit fees under which for instance a Kenyan or Ugandan bank is supposed to pay 10.000 US Dollars per year for each of their managerial staff.
Perhaps this tour, as it makes its way across the core of the East African Community, may serve as a showcase of what membership in this five country group is all about and that those aspiring to be part of it need to live up to set standards and show through their action that they are ready to take their place on the table, or in this case on the bicycle.
More details can be found via https://www.facebook.com/events/1636952166611129/