Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The East African Community will join the rest of the world in marking the 2018 International Women's Day on 8th March , 2018. The event will take place at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The International Women’s Day is held annually on March 8 to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. It is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace. The UN drew global attention to women's concerns in 1975 by calling for an International Women's Year.

The International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on the progress made in women’s rights, to call for change, and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of women’s rights. The theme for the International Women’s Day 2018 is  Press for Progress; Planet 50-50 by 2030.

As provided for in Articles 121 and 122 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC, Partner States have undertaken various efforts to enhance the Role of Women in Business and Socio-Economic Development.

The EAC Partner States recognise that women make a significant contribution towards the process of economic transformation and sustainable growth and that it is impossible to implement effective programmes for the economic and social development of the Partner States without the full participation of women.

To this end, the EAC has put the inclusion of women and girls at the centre of development programmes with Partner States ensuring affirmative action, constitutional and legal reforms, development of national gender policies; institutional mechanisms for implementation and accountability; economic empowerment measures, and sector-specific policies.

The EAC Secretariat is therefore committed to have a Community where women can participate as equal partners, decision makers, and beneficiaries in the development of their societies.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Members’ oath of allegiance and election of Speaker top the agenda
Parliament of Kenya late Thursday elected its nine representatives to the regional Assembly, setting stage for the inauguration of the 4th Assembly on December 18th, 2017, in Arusha, Tanzania.  

Top on the agenda during the week-long 1st Sitting of the 1st Session of the 4th Assembly, is the swearing-in of Members, election of the Speaker and that of Members to the EALA Commission as well as the constitution of various Committees.    
The nine elected nominees to EALA from Kenya are Hon Simon Mbugua, Hon Florence Jematiah, Hon Mpuri Aburi, Hon Aden Noor and Hon Wanjiku Muhia. Other members are Hon Oburu Odinga, Hon Kennedy Kalonzo, Hon Abdikadir Aden and Hon Fatuma Ibrahim.

The 3rd Assembly wound up its tour of duty on June 4th, 2017 and was expected to have commenced on June 5th 2017.   However by then, only Parliament of Uganda, Parliament of Tanzania, Parliament of Burundi and Parliament of Tanzania had finalised the processes. 

The Transitional National Legislative Assembly of South Sudan on its part, had to repeat its elections following an application filed at the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) by a citizen of the country, Mr Wani Salantino challenging the process.   The Parliament revisited the issue and held fresh elections on August 3rd, 2017, before filing the names with EALA.

Parliament of Uganda was the first House to elect Members to the regional Assembly on March 1st, 2017. Their 9 Member team consists of three returning incumbents, Hon Susan Nakawuki, Hon Fred Mukasa Mbidde and Hon Chris Opoka.   The new faces to EALA are Hon Rose Akol, Hon Mathias Kasamba, Hon Mary Mugyenyi and Hon Paul Musamali. Others are Hon Dennis Namara, and Hon George Stephen Odongo.

Parliament of Tanzania returned Hon Adam Kimbisa and Hon Maryam Ussi from the 3rd Assembly. The newcomers include Hon Josephine Lemoyan, Hon Happiness Lugiko, Hon Pamela Maassay, Hon Dr Ngwaru J Maghembe, Hon Dr Abdullah Makame, Hon Eng. Habib Mnyaa and Hon Fancy Nkuhi.

Parliament of Rwanda’s list submitted to EALA in May 2017, includes Hon Pierre Celestin Rwigema, Hon Martin Ngoga, Hon Gasinzigwa Oda and Hon Kalinda Francois Xavier, all who previously served in the 3rd Assembly. New faces include Hon Alex Bahati, Hon Fatuma Ndangiza, Hon Rutazana Francine, Hon Barimuyabo Jean Claude and Hon Uwumukiza Francoise.

Parliament of Burundi on their part elected Hon Jean Marie Muhirwa, Hon Leontine Nzeyimana, Hon Ahingejeje Alfred, Hon Burikukiye Marie Claire, Hon Burikukiye Victor, Hon Karerwa Mo-Mamo, Hon Nduwayo Christophe, Hon Rurakamvye Pierre Claver and Hon Nsavyimana Sophie.

South Sudan’s representatives are Hon Dr Ann Itto Leonardo, Hon Gai Deng Nhial Deng, Hon Dr Woda Jaremiah Odok, Hon Gabriel Garang Ahol and Hon Dr Gabriel
Garang Arol. Others are Hon Thomas D Deng, Hon Mukulia Kennedy Ayason, Hon Kim Duop and Hon Gideon Gatpan Thoar.

Meanwhile, preparations for the forthcoming Sitting are at an advanced stage in Arusha with a number of Speakers from the Partner States’ Parliaments expected to grace the occasion.

All Members are expected to be sworn in by the Clerk before election of the Speaker.  The new EALA Speaker who takes over from Rt Hon Daniel F. Kidega is expected to guide the Assembly over the next five years taking it a notch higher in the integration dispensation. 

EALA is an Organ of the East African Community established in 2001 with a mandate of legislation, representation and oversight.  It is constituted of nine elected members from each of the Partner States

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has secured a second term in office, setting off wild street celebrations by his supporters and protests in opposition strongholds in the capital and the west of the country.

Key points:

  • Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta won his 2nd term with 54.3 per cent of the vote
  • The Opposition said the election process was a "charade"
  • 1,200 people were killed in violence after the 2007 election
Speaking after the result of Tuesday's election was announced, Mr Kenyatta offered an olive branch to the opposition, urging national unity and peace with rivals who have rejected the result and raised the prospect of street protests.
Many Kenyans fear a repeat of the violence that followed the 2007 disputed election, when about 1,200 people were killed and hundreds of thousands displaced as protests over the result led to ethnic killings.
Mr Kenyatta got 54.3 per cent of the vote, ahead of rival Raila Odinga who secured 44.7 per cent, according to election commission figures.
"To my worthy competitor Raila Odinga, I reach out to you, I reach out to your supporters, let us work together," Mr Kenyatta, 55, said, shortly after being declared winner.
"Let us be peaceful, let us share together," he said.
"Reach out to your neighbour, shake their hand. Say this election is over, let us move on."
In Nairobi and other towns in Kenya his supporters took to the streets to celebrate, honking car horns and blowing whistles.
However, there were also protests.
Police fired tear gas and gunshots were heard in the Nairobi slums of Mathare and Kawangware, where young men took to the streets as police helicopters buzzed overhead.
In Kisumu, an Odinga stronghold in the west, youths banged drums and tyres burned in the streets in the Kondele district.
As election officials prepared the final results, the National Super Alliance (NASA) opposition coalition, led by 72-year-old Mr Odinga, said it rejected the process after its complaints had not been addressed.
"We raised some very serious concerns. They have not responded to them. As NASA we shall not be party to the process they are about to make," senior opposition official Musalia Mudavadi told reporters.
James Orengo, one of Mr Odinga's top lieutenants, said the process had been a "charade".
He stopped short of calling for protests but praised the Kenyan people's history of standing up to stolen elections and said there were "constitutional alternatives" to challenging any result.
Mr Odinga has lost the last two elections amid complaints of fraud.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

 President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is rooting for enhanced economic integration as an impetus to ensuring a stronger bloc necessary for the region’s prosperity.

Addressing EALA at the commencement of the  4th Meeting of the 5th Session in Kampala late yesterday, the Head of State called on the region to embrace “a Make EAC, Buy EAC” initiative in order to protect jobs and stimulate investments in the market. 

President Museveni called on the region to take advantage of its population size which he termed a resource for the EAC.  “If there is wealth of the East African region, which many do not talk about often – this is the population of the region.  It is one of the most important factors given that it has 162 Million people including Republic of South Sudan”, President Museveni said.  The President maintained population of the EAC was a wealth creator made up of producers of goods and services through offering skilled, unskilled and intellectual competencies as well as consumers.

The President said textiles, apparels, shoes and automotive constitute some of the industries whose products could either be made in the region or locally assembled.  The President gave a further example of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia saying the northern neighbour was today prioritizing local assemblage of motor vehicles.

He said the time had come for the region to begin discarding the importation of second-hand clothes (Mitumba) saying Uganda was spending over 880 Million Dollars annually on textiles coming from outside the region.

“We (EAC) cannot continue to be a market for imports,” the Head of State said. “We need to use the policy instruments to ensure local production”, he added.  

The President said the region was consolidating on its gains in Infrastructure and said opening of a new Berth at the port of Mombasa, construction of the Standard Gauge Railway, improvement of roads in the Republics of Kenya and Tanzania, as well as stable electricity would ensure the costs of doing business were reduced.

He reiterated that EAC Political Federation would in the long run, ensure stability and the future safety of Africa and termed unification of the region as a strategic security for the EAC in the face of the world powers. 

One Partner State in the region cannot do it alone, we must stay united.  We must therefore enhance and talk about Political Federation,” President Museveni said.

The President called for the conservation of the environment saying it was a serious issue that needs to be addressed.   He maintained that Uganda and the EAC region would need to restore the wetlands as a matter of priority, and avoid tilling the surrounding areas to grow rice and other crops, saying the practice was further debilitating the amount of rain across the entire EAC region.

President Museveni hailed East Africans for fighting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) saying the cultural practice was outdated and cruel. On social cohesion, the President rooted for Kiswahili saying it was a unifying factor for the entire region.   He said Kiswahili was widely spoken among the over 160 Million inhabitants at the EAC.

In attendance were key government officials, legislators from the Parliament of Uganda, representatives of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the private sector as well as the representatives of the EAC Youth Ambassadors platform among others.

In his welcome remarks, the Speaker of the EALA, Rt. Hon Daniel F. Kidega noted that the Sitting was taking place at an irreversible time in the regional integration process.
He called on the region to prioritise food security in the advent of climate change and to have contingency programs to address the looming famine, the region was likely to face.
  1. Debate on the Gender Equality and Development Bill, 2016, Administration of the East African Court of Justice Bill, 2016 and the EAC Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Bill, 2016.
  1. Receive and debate on various Reports of Committees of EALA including that of the audit and on the status of railway infrastructure development in the Partner States.
  1. In addition, we expect to debate on specific Motions, pass Resolutions and pose questions to the Council of Ministers.

“I have recently traversed the region and noticed the dire lack of rains”, he said.  “Governments likewise should strengthen irrigation systems, promote joint water-conservation efforts, early warning systems, research, extension and training”, he added.

The Speaker called for the maintenance of peace and security in the region saying the stability of Partner States was vital for progress.  He urged the region to embrace democratic ideals and good governance.  The Speaker further called for free and fair elections in the region.

Democratic elections are critical as the reverse could pose serious challenges to our stability, demoralize investors and lead to slow-down of economies.   Adherence to Constitutions and electoral laws on the part of the leaders, politicians and electoral regulatory bodies is therefore key”, the Speaker said.

On the other side, citizens must exercise their constitutional rights in a just manner, well aware that choices have consequences.  At this juncture, I wish our Sister Partner States of Kenya and Rwanda who are going to polls in 2017 free, peaceful and credible elections”, he added.

The EALA Speaker noted that the 3rd Assembly had made progress and cited some of the milestones realized including enactment of 25 Bills, adoption of 63 Resolutions and passage of 80 reports.  The Assembly has likewise streamlined sensitization activities as well as other governance instruments including the Rules of Procedure.

At the Plenary, the Assembly has the following notable business:

This is the last Sitting of the Assembly in the Republic of Uganda in line with the Principle of rotation.   The Assembly which has two more sittings before its tenure ends in June 2017.

Time Management


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