Failed attempts by EAC Heads of States to hold a virtual conference on the unfolding Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the widening ideological rift between member countries. Current chair of the East Africa Community and Rwandan President Paul Kagame last week said the lack of co-ordination at the presidential level has exposed the region to a wider, cross-border spread of the virus.
President Kagame had convened a virtual Heads of States summit on April 15 to discuss joint responses to the pandemic, which has so far infected more than 3.2 million people and killed over 233,000, but only two other presidents were ready to take part. “The Summit did not happen because a number of countries—three specifically—were not able to connect with the rest of us and all members have to be available for the virtual meeting to take place,” said President Kagame at a Monday press briefing. While Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda were ready for the meeting, South Sudan, Tanzania and Burundi were not.