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East African States Outline $74 Billion Growth Plan

April 28 (Bloomberg) -- The five member countries of the East African Community plan a $74 billion investment program which will spur growth, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said.

Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi will invest the funds in upgrading transport systems and enhancing power generation, Museveni said today at a regional investment conference in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.

These improvements will boost annual economic output to “double-digit figures” in the five nations, he said.

The major bottlenecks to doing business in East Africa “are transport, especially railway transport and electricity,” said Museveni. The five governments will partner with businesses to develop some projects in the region, the Ugandan leader said.

A common market the five nations will adopt by July will enhance trade and investment in the bloc, he said. All the countries except Burundi have ratified the common-market treaty. Burundi will do so before July, Diodorus Kamala, the chairman of the EAC’s council of ministers, said at the conference.

The bloc has a combined GDP of $75.2 billion and a population of more than 125 million people, which should help attract foreign direct investment, said Eriya Kategaya, Uganda’s minister for EAC affairs.

To contact the reporter on this story: Fred Ojambo in Kampala via Johannesburg on pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.

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