By Fredrick Obura
The resolution passed in Mombasa is expected to resolve trade barriers that have been blamed on increasing the cost of doing business by between 20 to 40 per cent and slowing the pace of integration.
The council of ministers agreed on reducing the number of roadblocks within each country, elimination of visa charges, not charging more than $200 on trucks crossing the borders of member states, and weighing of transit vehicles only at the point of entry and exit.
Other resolutions passed included recognition of certification standards of each member country, and the harmonisation of the 24/7 working hours at all border points.
According to Kenyaâs minister for the East African Community, Musa Sirma, Kenya agreed to reduce its 36 roadblocks to five, Tanzania will reduce its roadblocks by half, from the current 30.
Other states, such as Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi agreed to have no roadblocks and instead replace the same with electronic cargo monitoring machines.
The police, they said, would only play patrol role.
"An important strategy to counter the adverse effects of global uncertainty is through accelerating regional integration and supporting greater intra-regional trade," said Sirma.
"I am calling upon each member states to move fast and implement what the council has agreed on without delay. We already have full backing from EAC chair and would want to move forward to protect consumers," the minister said.