“With age comes experience and responsibility. You(Museveni) have the age and experience. Take the responsibility to take charge of the East African integration,”Ruto said.
The newly elected Kenyan president was on Sunday speaking during the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of Uganda’s independence held at Kololo Independence grounds in Kampala.
Describing him as mzee, President Ruto said it is high time the region removed all the barriers and boundaries that prohibit free movement of people to enjoy free trade and investment as they tap into the various opportunities presented.
“Mzee is our elder and we look up to him to now work so that we can eliminate borders that separate our people in east Africa and Africa. It is very clear to us we cannot share poverty and hunger but we can share opportunities and prosperity,”Ruto said.
“It is our pledge as leaders and citizens of east Africa region to work together to transform our borders which today stand out as barriers and convert them to ridges so that goods, services and people can move across without any impediments. As our elder, you have the challenge to lead the charge on ensuring we bring down boundaries, borders and barriers to have borderless East African community.”
Ruto said it should no longer be words but actions to ensure the integration of the East African Community but also tap into opportunities that come with it.
He cited the millions of dollars that the region spends to import fertilisers yet the raw materials are found locally.
The Kenyan president said it is high time this changed to ensure the foreign exchange lost in form of importing of many products is saved by producing them locally.
He emphasized the need to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area to ensure prosperity of the people.
“We are looking in our life time and next few years that people, goods and services can move across as we lead the way in ensuring African Continental Free Trade Area becomes a reality. If there is food in Uganda, it should find its way to kenya and if there is opportunity in in Kenya, it should be in Uganda.”