15th Sectoral Council on Education, Science and Technology, Culture and Sports concluded in Arusha
East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania 8th June, 2019: The 15th EAC Sectoral Council on Education, Science and Technology, Culture and Sports Concluded on Friday 7th June 2019 at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
The 5-day meeting was convened to consider matters related to Education and Training; Culture and Sports; the East African Kiswahili Commission (EAKC); the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA); and the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO).
Chairing the meeting, Mr. Samuel Mulindwa, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Republic of Rwanda pointed out the important role of Education, Science and Technology and Innovation in the development of the East African Region.
“This Sectoral Council is of paramount importance in the implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol, especially the free movement of people, labour and services”, noted Mr. Mulindwa. The Permanent Secretary further added that while considerable progress had been made, challenges still remained hindering the attainment of the intended goals of the integration, and as such, it was important for Partner States to enhance their commitment in finding urgent solutions to these challenges.
On his part, EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Hon. Christophe Bazivamo further reiterated the important role of the Sectoral Council in the implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol especially the free movement of people, labour and services.
“The EAC has made progress in harmonization of Partner States’ education curricula, structures and frameworks, it is however crucial to conclude the harmonization process so that the intended benefits can be attained,” said the Deputy Secretary General.
Hon. Bazivmamo informed the meeting of the progress that has been made in signing Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) and the challenges that still face their implementation.“The commitment of Partner States in the harmonization of fees, establishment and operationalization of Regional Centers of Excellence and development of mobility programmes for Academic staff and students will play an important role towards the realization of the EAC Common Higher Education Area”, added Hon. Bazivamo.
Considering Education and Training matters, the Sectoral Council directed the Partner States to enhance sensitization and awareness of the EAC Essay Writing competition to enable more school and students to participate.
On Culture on Sports matters, the Sectoral Council approved the 4th Edition of the EAC Arts and Culture Festival – JAMAFEST to be held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from 21st to 28th September 2019, under the theme “Cultural Diversity; A Key Driver to Regional Integration, Economic Growth and Promotion of Tourism”. Further, the Sectoral Council approved the 2nd Edition of EAC Games 2020 to be hosted in the Republic of Rwanda.
The importance of Kiswahili in regional integration and sustainable development is underscored in Articles 137 of the EAC Treaty that recognizes Kiswahili as the lingua franca of the Community. In line with further promoting Kiswahili as the lingua franca, the Sectoral Council approved the commencement of implementation of the East African Kiswahili Commission (EAKC) Mobility Programme. The EAKC Mobility Policy and Programme is a framework of strategic partnerships and strong and broad cooperation and a tool to provide opportunities for Kiswahili stakeholders to interact.
The Meeting also approved the Draft Principles and Guidelines for Kiswahili Training Programmes and Manuals in the EAC, which provide broad policy recommendations on the approach and process of designing, developing and delivering Kiswahili Training Programmes in the EAC. The Principles and Guidelines take into account the changing dynamic of the language at national, regional, continental and global levels.They are intended to provide direction and consistency in a generally common manner in decision making in the development of Kiswahili training Programmes in the EAC, while at the same time, recognizing and taking into account, the various linguistic situations, Kiswahili policies and organizational structures in the Partner States.
In an effort to contribute to sensitizing a large populace in the Community on the regional integration process and sustainable development agenda of the EAC, the EAKC initiated the process of translating the EAC Treaty from English into Kiswahili. In this regard, the Sectoral Council has directed the Commission to submit the Draft EAC Treaty in Kiswahili to Partner States for comments and further inputs.
The 15th meeting of the Sectoral Council further directed the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) to finalize the Engineering benchmarks and to sensitize and disseminate the finalized benchmarks in Business related subjects, Education, Computer Science and IT, Medicine and Agriculture to the Partner States and develop a roadmap in other disciplines.
The benchmarks provide a frame of reference for universities when developing and reviewing academic programmes and curricular in order to ensure that the programmes and curricular in the region are harmonized.
On matters presented by the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO), the meeting approved the biennial EAC Science, Technology and Innovation Conference planned for 13th to 14th September 2019, to be hosted in the Republic of Uganda, under the theme “Harnessing Technology and Innovation for sustainable socio-economic development and regional integration”.
The goal of the EAC STI Conference is to provide an opportunity for public-private partnership for enhanced linkages among Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) stakeholders in the EAC Partner States and the region to support STI information sharing, technology diffusion, transfer and innovation for transformation the EAC region in a knowledge based economy.
The meeting was attended by Ministers, Cabinet Secretary, Permanent/Principal/Under Secretaries and Senior Officials from Partner States Ministries responsible for EAC Affairs, Education, Science and Technology, Culture and Sports, and Science and Technology Commissions.
For more information, please contact:
Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org
About the East African Community Secretariat:
The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of six Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified