I t is a privilege for me to comment on the partnership between the East African Commu- nity and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in this EAC- GIZ Journal 2017, which aims at highlighting the cooperation between GIZ and the EAC Secretariat as part of the support of the German government to the integration process in the East African Community. I have been in the office as the Secretary General of the Community for nearly two years and have been keenly following the work GIZ is doing to support our regional integration agenda. I am proud of our partnership; it is yielding tangible benefits to the East African citizens. The publication of the GIZ-EAC Journal is taking place at a time when regional integration has become a vital force in building our Partner States’ economies, creating employment opportuni- ties, enhancing social cohesion, lowering the cost of doing business, attracting investments, and improving governance in the bloc. Today, the Community is vibrant and dynamic, upholding its mantra of being “people-centred” and “market-driven”. It is now a Community with a Common Vision 2050, which aims at elevating the per capita income to above USD 10,000 for East African citizens within the next three decades, turning our Community into an upper-middle income region. Indeed our Community has been recognised as one of the fastest growing regions in Sub-Saharan Africa – with an average GDP growth of 6.2 per cent (2015). It is also one of the largest regional economic blocs, and has one of the largest single markets in Africa – with a total population of about 170 million of people. The improved economic performance is expected to spark renewed interest for investment and trade. The Community would not have achieved all these milestones without the support from the Part- ner States and our development partners, among them the German Development Cooperation through GIZ. Indeed since the revival of the Community in 1999, the German people and gov- ernment have taken keen interest and are playing a critical facilitating role in enabling the region achieve its set objectives. I take this opportunity to highlight a few areas of our partnership. Our Partnership has Accelerated Regional Integration Over the years, GIZ has supported regional economic development with activities in the areas of trade, customs, tax harmonisation and industrial development, in particular the promotion of pharmaceuti- cal manufacturing. In the health sector GIZ supported our region on Pandemic Prepar- edness and fight against communicable diseases. The capacities of our Partner States to respond to pathogens of biosafetyand other outbreaks of infectious diseases prone to cause cross-border epidemics have been strengthened. German Development Cooperation (GDC) also supports the EAC in education, health and infrastructure through financial cooperation. Particular focus is on the support to the improvement of the higher education system through a scholarship programme in cooperation with the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IU- CEA). GIZ supports an East African University to develop a master’s course specialising in embedded and mobile systems. We take pride in our status as the only Regional Economic Community (REC) in Africa that is 2008:9001 Quality Manage- ment Systems certified. This was achieved thanks to the support the Secretariat received from GIZ in introducing QMS in our processes. This bears witness to our commitment to grow and improve our ability to respond to the needs of our various stakeholders. The Community is people-centred and private sector driven. Since December 2012, the Secretariat has regularly engaged in a structured dialogue with the Private Sector and Civil Society Organisations and other interest groups based on the Consultative Dialogue Framework developed with the support of GIZ and other Partners. GIZ’s partnership to the regional integration process has therefore been resilient and dependable, and I look forward to a stronger partnership in the years ahead. Amb Liberat Mfumukeko Secretary General, East African Community Foreword