By The EastAfrican
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Four of six East African Community heads of state arrived in the northern Tanzanian city of Arusha for the annual summit on Friday.

Host president John Magufuli was joined by his counterparts Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame.

Burundi’s Pierre Nkurunziza sent his first vice-president Gaston Sindimwo while South Sudanese leader Salva Kiir will be represented by his Foreign minister Nhial Deng Nhial.

The summit had been postponed twice after Burundi’s last minute boycott of the planned November meet which was rescheduled to December but failed to take place.

Burundi wanted the EAC leaders to first address differences pitting his country and Rwanda. Relations between the two neighbours have soured since the failed Bujumbura coup in 2015 threatening to tear apart the Community.


Now, there is expectations that the Summit will help unlock programmes and foster EAC integration at a time when observers have predicted a collapse akin to the 1977 one.

Other challenges the EAC faces include frosty relations between Rwanda and Uganda, trade wars among the member states, and funding.

But the rows among some partner states will not feature at the Summit, according to the agenda released.

The leaders are expected review progress towards creating the East African Political Federation; the roadmap for the accelerated integration of the Republic of South Sudan into the EAC, and; the verification exercise for the admission of the Republic of Somalia into the Community.

The Summit is also expected to discuss modalities for the promotion of motor vehicle assembly in the region in a bid to reduce importation of used vehicles, as well as review the textile and leather sectors.