Veronica Mueni Nduva has been sworn in as the new East African Community (EAC) Secretary General, following the recall of Peter Mathuki by Kenya President, William Ruto, earlier this year.

Mathuki was appointed ambassador to Russia leaving the position vacant in March.

Speaking in Juba, South Sudan after taking the oath at the virtually held 23rd Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the EAC Heads of State, Nduva said that her term would be dedicated to promoting deeper integration and development of the people of East Africa.

She comes in at a time when there is relative calm over the nagging issues of tariff and non-tariff barriers between most member countries, but amidst the armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which continues to strain its relations with Rwanda.

Nduva said her key priorities would include strengthening economic integration that encourages innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation in addition to peace and security. 

“In promoting peace and security, a secure East Africa is the foundation upon which we can build lasting prosperity,” she told the heads of state.

Nduva, who is EAC’s first female SG, vowed that advanced social development would also be a priority for her with special attention being given to empowering women and youth who are the backbone of the society in the region. 

She also committed to put emphasis on Infrastructure development, reiterating that the sector would require innovative financing solutions and strengthened public-private-partnerships (PPPs).

“To promote climate resilient growth, we will continue addressing the pressing challenges of climate change collectively as a region. This includes promoting green energy, sustainable agriculture, conservation efforts and resource mobilisation as a bloc,” she added. 

Nduva was the Principal Secretary in the State Department for Performance and Delivery Management in the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary and Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs of Kenya.

Salva Kirr, the chairman EAC Heads of States Summit called for the fast-tracking of the East African Monetary Institute to provide guidance on the establishment of a single currency. 

He also disclosed that South Sudan would be holding consultations on the EAC Political Confederation Constitution in July and urged Partner States that have not done so to expedite the consultations.

President Yoweri Museveni, underscored the need to eliminate NTBs as they distort the region’s potential for trade.

He hailed South Sudan for her upcoming consultations on the Political Confederation Constitution in July and urged other countries to follow suit so that the bloc can take the integration process to a higher level.  

President Kirr also noted the ongoing conflicts in one parts of the region, saying that it was the collective responsibility of all Partner States to pursue just and equitable settlements to disputes and conflict in the region.

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