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East African leaders and officials have agreed to improve roads linking countries in the region and to promote peace and security in a bid to meet the objectives of an African-led initiative intended to turn around the continent’s economies.

The presidents of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, and senior officials from Tanzania, Eritrea, Burundi, Sudan, Mauritius, Djibouti and Ethiopia, have also agreed on the need to harmonise policies and regulations governing foreign investment to attract more overseas investors.

“It is estimated that Africa accounts for no more than 2% of all world exports,” Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki has said. “To improve on this, African countries must move fast toward integration. The integration of the African continent is an indispensable strategy for survival and development.”

To help foster that integration, leaders and officials agreed to repair a number of key roads linking eastern African countries and work toward promoting peace and security in the region, which has been beset by conflicts.