12 Cyclists from eight East African communities were Wednesday received at Malaba border from Uganda by Teso North DCC Stephen Wambura ahead of their 6000km ride to sensitize the community on the importance of economic integration and how to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Medalists from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, DRC, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Rwanda intend to cover the journey in 55 days.
The cyclists, led by Kenyan captain Richard Angolo noted that the annual cycling activity serves as a regional advocacy podium supporting the EAC integration process.
“The Great East Africa Cycling Safari is a 55-day, 6,000-kilometer annual cycling activity that supplements the EAC secretariat`s integration awareness, cross-cultural interaction, environmental conservation, economic growth, Gender and human capital, food security, food safety and climate change effects,” said Angolo.
Teso North DCC commended the cyclists for their resilience in promoting a spirit of East Africanness, one that was built on unity, peace, and collective development hence making the EAC a global market.
Wambura reaffirmed the government commitment to partner and support the event by opening its gates to the EAC members on matters pertaining economic integration, cooperation on security matters and advocating for climate change mitigation measures to assure the region of food security.
‘‘I am glad to note that beside the cyclists use the safari to sensitize to the people along their route on regional integration, they have also geared up campaign on food security, need for us to foster peace and unity, and promoting environmental conservation through planting trees to mitigate effects of climate change,“ noted DCC Wambura.
His sentiment was echoed by Malaba custom cluster manager from Uganda Aggrey Kutonyi who noted that business flourish in a politically enabling environment hence the need for promotion of pan Africanism.
“We can’t transform socioeconomics if we don’t come together. East Africa has great potential to sustain its economy and support exports for economic transformation and empowerment,” noted Kutonyi.
The cyclist embarked on the journey after refreshment organized at Ugandan custom at Malaba as the strength before making their first stop at Eldoret in the evening where they will be hosted by the EAC officer.
They assured them of booth personal security and food security as they will be hosted by the government of Kenya.
“The regional heads of state have placed a high priority on ensuring food security and safety for all people living in East Africa.In Kenya the government has already supplied subsidized fertilizer at kshs.2500 per 50kg bag to farmers, a projection of bumper harvest,” noted Wambura.
The GACS 2023 Tour is a fun and healthy way to travel across the region while having a positive impact on the environment. Cyclists will plant 10 trees after every 200km.
This year’s tour will start from Jinja City and finish in Kampala, Uganda. It shall run clockwise around Lake Victoria to Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, and Rwanda before returning to Uganda for the grand finale in September.