Kivejinja scoops EAC council of ministers chairman seat

Uganda has officially taken over from the United Republic of Tanzania as the new Chairperson of East African Community-EAC.

The tenure of office of the Chairperson of the EAC is one year and it is held on rotational basis among the Partner States in line with Article 12 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC.

The new Chairman of the EAC Council of Ministers, AL Hajji Ali Kirunda Kivejinja said Uganda will utilize the tenure to ensure that East African citizens see, touch and feel the tangible benefits of the regional integration.

Kivejinja said that since the operationalization of the Customs Union and Common Market protocols, Partner States have not fully allowed the citizens to enjoy the anticipated benefits. He urged that Partner States must enhance the visibility of the tangible benefits of the integration by implementing fully the Customs Union and Common Market protocols.

“At this critical period, the Council’s contribution towards the regional integration process therefore cannot be overemphasized,” Kivejinja told the 35th Meeting of EAC Council of Ministers which concluded on Tuesday at the EAC headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

“Our people are still experiencing non-tariff barriers, harmonization of national laws to conform to the Protocols are still far, and popular participation in the integration process is still generally low in all the Partner States,” said the Minister.

Kivejinja also reminded members of the Council on the Summit directive to the Council to present a report on Alternative Financing Mechanism including the option of 1 percent of Imports from outside the Community in line with the Principle of Financial Solidarity and Equity.

He urged the Ministers of Finance to finalize the proposal as soon as possible so that the Summit can be guided to this outstanding matter.

The outgoing Chair, Amb. Augustine Mahiga Tanzania’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, East Africa, Regional and International Cooperation, called upon the Organs and Institutions of the Community to refocus and re-engineer how to move forward the integration agenda.

“I urge them to refrain themselves from unnecessary expenditures which amount equally to wastage of taxpayers money,” Mahiga said adding that there are inbuilt challenges in any regional integration schemes which need to be addressed as long as they are known.

“Generally what I can say during our tenure we came across plains, hills and valleys but all is well.”

EAC Secretary General, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko expressed confidence that Uganda would steer the Council and the Community to greater height.

WOMEN ACTIVISTS CALL HEADS OF STATE FOR THE EAC TO QUICKLY ASSENT TO THE GENDER BILL

By Alice Lubwama

Women activists under East African Sub Regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI) are calling heads of state from the East African community to quickly assent to the East African community gender equality and development which will advance gender equality across the 5 EAC partner states in the economic, political, social and cultural spheres.

Addressing the media in Kampala, the women led by Dr. Christine Mbonyingingo, the chairperson board of directors for the East African Sub Regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI) said that   despite the ratification of various regional and international instruments on gender equality, such laws have not been implemented.

Dr Mbonyingo says that once the bill is assented to by all heads of states they will obliged to collectively promote participation of women and men in regional trade and sustainable economic growth.

The bill was passed by the lawmakers of the East African legislative assembly on women’s day this week as gift for the women of east Africa, during their last sitting in Kigali Rwanda.

The heads of partner states are expected to assent to this bill next month during their summit.

Photo: ChimpReports

President Museveni to make keynote address in USA

By Moses Kidandi

President Yoweri Museveni is in New York for the 71st United Nations General Assembly currently taking place at the United Nations Headquarters under the theme “The Sustainable Development Goals: a universal push to transform our world.”

The United Nations General assembly takes place every year at this time and convenes leaders from around the world; from Heads of States and governments to corporations, to advance solutions to today’s global problems.

The assembly is expected to among others, discuss key issues including the question of refugees, climate change, progress made on the sustainable development goals, strengthening global health and advancing gender equality.

The President is expected to deliver a keynote address at the EAC Heads of State and CEOs roundtable hosted by the US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

He will later join other Heads of State at the opening of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly and later attend a leaders summit on refugees hosted by President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Pierre James Trudeau, German Chancellor Chancellor Angela Merkel, Swedish Prime minister Stefan Löfven, King of Jordan Abdulla 11 and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

 

Quickly pass the EAC gender and development bill- EASSI

By Alice Lubwama

Women activists under the East African sub regional support initiative for the advancement of women(EASSI) are calling members in  the East African legislative assembly to quickly pass the EAC gender and development bill  which will advance gender equality across the 5 EAC
partner states in the economic, political ,social and cultural spheres.

Addressing a news conference in Kampala today the program director EASSI Christine Nankubuge said that the law will work as one legal binding document for the member states  to fully protect and observe
women/s rights.

She noted that the east African partner states have signed and ratified a number of regional  and international  instruments related to gender equality and women/s rights and have national legislation s
and policies but  there not implemented fully.

The bill has already been tabled before the east African legislative assembly as a private members bill and the members will soon begin public hearing in all the 5 partner states.


PHOTO: www.eala.org