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1st EAC University Debate Draws to Colorful Close PDF Print E-mail

…As five students are nominated EAC Youth Ambassadors

East African Community Secretariat, Arusha, 25 August 2012: The 1st EAC University Students Debate on Regional Integration drew to a close Friday in a colorful ceremony at the New Arusha Hotel.

At the closing gala dinner, the best five debaters at the inaugural event were recognized and awarded certificates which were presented by EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors Hon. Jesca Eriyo. Kenyan student Mr. Ephraim Percy Kenyanito was named the best debater by the Panel of Judges at the two-day function.

In a brief statement, Hon. Eriyo remarked that the Debate was a positive avenue for involving the youth of East Africa in the EAC integration process and challenged the organizers to make future editions even bigger. She commended the participants for their passion for the integration, while also thanking GIZ for the support it rendered to make the event a success.

At the same gala five of the participants were nominated EAC Youth Ambassadors pending approval by the EAC policy organs. Those selected are: Ms. Ntungane Olenka (Burundi), Ms. Milly Mbedi Minayo (Kenya), Mr. Muramira Gashegu (Rwanda), Mr. Raymond Maro (United Republic of Tanzania) and Mr. James Tayebwa Bamwenda (Uganda).

The two-day function whose theme was: “Understanding the Benefits and Challenges of Political Integration in East Africa” attracted at least 100 students from universities and other education institutions from across the EAC region. It was organized by the EAC Nyerere Centre for Peace Research (NCPR) with the support of GIZ.

The main objective of the Debate, which is mooted to be an annual event, is to promote continuous dialogue among the youth and interest them in advocating regional integration initiatives. In addition, the Debate is expected to provide a platform for the youth to participate in and contribute to policy formulation on issues that constitute the EAC youth agenda.

The Debate involved six participants from each EAC Partner State, drawn from national universities, both public and private and other institutions of higher learning, who discussed the motion that the benefits of political integration in East Africa outweigh the challenges. Each student received a Certificate of Participation.

Notes to Editors

• Article 120 (c) of the EAC Treaty provides for  adoption of a common approach for involvement of the youth in the integration process through education, training and mainstreaming youth issues into EAC policies, programmes and projects as one of the strategic interventions.

• The East African Community Youth Summit held in Arusha, Tanzania from 2-3 November 2007 recognized that the youth of East Africa are important stakeholders in the EAC processes since they form a substantial part of the population.

• Given the opportunity, they can influence policy formulation, participate in community sensitization and implementation of other youth activities in view of their creativity and energy.

• The involvement of youth in promoting development and regional integration contributes to scientific and technological innovations (research) and developing high-level skills needed to drive national and regional development in knowledge-based economy.

• As one of its targets, the Nyerere Centre for Peace Research (Debate organizers) focuses on enhancing engagement with students through research–students’ exchange programmes.

• The exchange programme creates an enabling environment for students to play an active role in the integration process by offering a platform that enables them to learn more about the region. To date, more than 50 students from East African universities have benefited from these programs.

The Nyerere Centre for Peace Research

The EAC Nyerere Centre for Peace Research (NCPR) was formally launched on 13 July 2007 in Arusha, Tanzania to be developed as a centre of excellence in capacity building and research. Its establishment was inspired by the legacy of peace by the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania.

The choice to host this Centre in Arusha was inspired by the city’s history as a hub for peace negotiations in the region. The overall objective of the Centre is to provide the EAC with relevant and timely research, training and information that contribute to deepening and widening of integration especially in areas under cooperation in political matters including peace and security, good governance and foreign policy coordination.

To date, the programs conducted at the centre have brought together students from universities in the EAC Partner States and their counterparts from USA with the aim of educating and sensitizing them on the benefits and challenges of integration. More information: www.ncpr.eac.int

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For more information please contact: Owora Richard Othieno, Head of Department; Corporate Communications and Public Affairs; Tel: +255 784 835021; Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

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