Happening at Munyonyo Common Wealth resort this week is the 13th Northern Corridor Integration Project (NCIP) summit. The invited countries who will attend are Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan the core members of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects.
Observers such as Tanzania and Burundi have been invited including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Ethiopia for showing interest to participate in the NCIP summit meetings.
The meeting will also be attended by, the East African community which is representing the Transit Corridor Authority. Invited are members of the sector from both Uganda and members states.
This summit has number of projects in discussion building on the last summit that was on December 10th 2015 in Kigali, Rwanda.
The Northern Corridor Projects cover, the standard gauge railway, ICT, the oil refinery development, political federation, financing and private sector participation which are coordinated by Uganda on behalf of the other members of the northern corridor.
Energy generation and inter connectivity, refined and crude pipe lines, human resource capacity building, commodities exchange, land are being coordinated by the republic of Kenya.
Rwanda coordinate a number of clusters including; immigration, trade, tourism, labor and services, single customs territory, defense cooperation, peace and security cooperation and the airspace.
The expected highlights at this summit include signing of MoUs such as; on the northern corridor integration projects with the northern corridor technology alliance. This will be the northern corridor alliance working with the private sector alliances.
Second is the data accessing framework, adoption of the broad band strategy. The northern corridor countries have been having one area network charge on the voice and SMS. We hope that upon signing, we will have uniform rates to be charged by operators. This is significant because the voice and SMS rates across the region has been uniform and having the same apply to data will be a great achievement given the fact that data consumption has increased as people use applications such as WhatsApp.
There will be considerations for adoption of succession to mutual defense pact, mutual peace and security pact by the other member states, endorsement of conflict resolution mechanism in the northern corridor investment project countries and single customs territory by strengthening for infra-regional trade expansion among others.
Also to note is that the northern corridor integration project has attracted significant participation by Ethiopia and DRC. Ethiopia is more interested in Standard gauge railway as well as energy. DRC is interested in the standard railway plus the oil pipeline and gas.
Tanzania and Burundi have become more regular in attending these meetings an indicator of the achievement in first tracking from a slower case by the East African Community.