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EAC Short Term Election Observer MIssion to the 26th October Repeat Presidential Election in Kenya Launched

EAC Short Term Election Observer Mission to the 26th October Repeat Presidential Election in Kenya Launched

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 23rd October 2017:

The East African Community Short Term Election Observation Mission to Kenya’s 26th October Presidential Election has been launched in Nairobi, Kenya.

Launching the exercise this morning, the Head of the Mission, Hon. Prof. Edward B. Rugumayo commended the people of Kenya for being an example in the region on the promotion of the rule of law through use of judicial processes to address electoral disputes, respect for governance institutions and an open space for political competition and contestation so far exhibited.

The Head of the Mission noted that the forthcoming Presidential Election in Kenya was unique and the first of its kind in the region where a Presidential Election is repeated as a result of Court decision.

He urged the EAC Observers to remain focused to their role and professionalism as they undertake the mission and ensure thorough exercise of due diligence in thier tasks and positive discretion in making judgements on the situation on the ground.

“By its very nature it is expected that this election carries with it a heavy sense of emotion and anxiety among the difference stakeholders and therefore no wonder that tension and elements of violence is being reported in some parts of the country”, asserted the Head of Mission.

He therefore urged the EAC Observers to be cautious of the emotions in regards to the personal and collective conducts and always remember that as International Observers, their mandates and limits were well stipulated by the International Election Observation Standards, as well as the EAC Principles for Elections Observation and Evaluation.

The Mission Leader was optimistic that the whole process will be peaceful and successful and will forever remain a reference point of best practice in electioneering in the EAC region and beyond. He wished the Kenyan people peaceful, free and fair elections as they exercise their rights to choose the Leader of their choice.      

At the same occasion, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Mr. Charles Njoroge, reiterated that the Kenya democracy was advancing and the adherence to the rule of law and democratic principles and respect of Institutions was growing in the same measure.

He said Kenyans will go back to the polls on 26th October 2017 to elect the President in fulfilment of the requirements of the very laws governing democratic dispensation on elections.

The EAC official said nullification by the Supreme Court of Kenya of the outcome of the Presidential election of 8th August 2017 is a testimony to the operational independence the Constitution of Kenya grants to the Organs of governance, which is an important example in the region on the promotion of the rule of law through use of judicial processes to address disputes of all kinds.

“The repeat elections are thus a sacrifice Kenyans have to bear in promotion of democracy, access to justice and rule of law”, affirmed the EAC Deputy Secretary General.

 

Notes to Editors

The Observation Mission is partly a continuation of the August 2017 mission that was deployed to observe the General Elections in Kenya. It is also partly a result of developments that took place after the declaration of the Presidential Election result of August 2017 where the Supreme Court of Kenya annulled the same results.

As the EAC commitment to fulfil the obligation of enhancing democratic principles as enshrined in the Articles 3 (3)(c) and 123 6(d) of the Treaty, the Community is deploying again to observe this presidential election in accordance with the EAC Principles for Elections Observation and Evaluation and Council decision.

The Mission comprises over 60 members, drawn from Electoral Management Bodies, National Legislative Assemblies, members of the Former East African Legislative Assembly, National Human Rights Commissions, Civil Society, EAC Youth Ambassadors and the EAC Secretariat. The Mission will be deployed in most of the Constituencies in the Republic of Kenya.

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For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
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 five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

Good Governance Key to Regional Integration in East Africa

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 11th October, 2017:

Good governance is an important ingredient for the success of regional integration in East African Community.

Dr. Susan Kolimba, the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation in the United Republic of Tanzania, said that good governance in the EAC Partner States would lessen the possibility of instability in the region thereby ensuring peace and security which are the cornerstones of socio-economic development in the region.

Dr. Kolimba said that there was a need to address governance challenges which lie at the core of whatever efforts are deployed to promote the integration agenda, whether at the national, regional or continental levels.

“The challenge to us all is how best we can collectively address governance challenges that confront our region in a manner that responds to the opportunities that surround us,” said the Minister.

Dr. Kolimba further urged EAC Partner States to iron out contentious issues and finalize the Protocol on Good Governance as a framework for good governance in the EAC.

Dr. Kolimba was officially opening the 6th Annual Conference on Good Governance at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. The two-day conference themed “Strengthening Democracy for Sustainable Integration” brings together national agencies/institutions responsible for human rights, anti-corruption efforts, electoral processes, judicial processes and legislatures.

On the convening of sessions of the East African Legislative Assembly, Dr. Kolimba told a media briefing held after the official opening that the Assembly would convene once the Kenya National Assembly had finalized the election of MPs to represent the country in the regional Parliament. 

Addressing the conference, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Mr. Charles Njoroge, said that while economic integration was a priority, it would not by itself be sufficient to enable the region to consolidate the gains and ensure mechanisms for equitable distribution of benefits.

“We need to look beyond economic integration for us to move towards the ultimate goal of our integration process – the Political Federation. Also we must realize that the East African Political Federation will not be an event but a process, and not an end in itself but a means to an end,” said Mr. Njoroge.

Mr. Njoroge noted that a number of the escalating violent conflicts and political instability in African countries were the product of undemocratic practices and good governance deficits.

“The resultant challenges thus far have had negative implications to achieving human security, reducing poverty and realizing other general human development. In the East African region in particular, countries have adopted different approaches to address violence and civil unrest mostly through judicial and security sector reforms,” said the DSG.

Also present at the official opening was the Judge President of the East African Court of Justice, Justice Emannuel Ugirashebuja. 

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For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
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 five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

11th EAC Military Games and Cultural Event 2017 concludes in Bujumbura

East African Community Secretariat; Bujumbura, Burundi; 07 September 2017:

The 11th EAC Military Games and Cultural Event 2017 came to an end at Prince Louis Rwagasore National Stadium on Tuesday 5th September 2017, with an appeal by the 1st Vice President of the Republic of Burundi, H.E. Gaston Sindimwo to all the East African citizens and their governments to defend the regional integration initiatives and make use of the East African Community for peace and development.

The 1st Vice President, who was speaking on behalf of H.E. Pierre Nkurunziza, said “while each individual in each of the teams fought hard to score that extra goal, and to run the fastest race to raise the national flags, collectively our national flags constituted a single winning flag, the flag of the East African Community that symbolizes a collective unity of the people of East Africa”.

H.E. Gaston Sindimwo described the participation of the troops in sports as an engine for friendship, solidarity, co-operation and comradeship that runs the Community as one people with one destiny.

He said ”am here, on behalf of the President of the Republic, to reiterate Burundi’s commitment to the regional integration and its readiness to defend the Community”.

The 1st Vice President implored the soldiers and civilian guests who participated in the Military Games and Cultural Event to be Burundi’s ambassadors and well-wishers within the region and beyond on peace and security situation in the country, saying “you have been here for almost two weeks and I don’t think you have experienced any insecurity”. There is peace and security in the whole country, affirmed H.E. Gaston Sindimwo to the attentive audience.

The Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs of Burundi, Hon Emmanuel Ntahomvukiye congratulated all players and organizers for making the 11th Edition of the Military Games and Cultural Event a success story and noted that through sports, soldiers have got the opportunity to interact with fellow comrades and also keep fit as Forces in the Community.

The Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community in charge of Political Federation, Mr. Charles Njoroge thanked the Republic of Burundi, the entire leadership, the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs, the Burundi National Defence Forces for the superb organization and facilitation of event.

The EAC official urged all the East African citizens, international partners and visitors to take advantage of the prevailing peaceful and secure environment in Burundi to visit or invest in the country.

“By the fact that the Republic of Burundi has successfully hosted this event is a clear indication that peace and security are prevailing in the country. Peace and security are the prerequisites of any human development in any country; therefore we commend the leadership for restoring peace and security” asserted the Deputy Secretary General.

He registered the EAC Secretariat’s appreciation to the Partner States for the effective implementation of the EAC Protocol on Cooperation in Defence Affairs, which was enabling the EAC Secretariat and Partner States to organize such sports and cultural events on rotational basis.

The EAC official announced that the Republic of Kenya will host the 12th Edition of the EAC Military Games and Cultural Event in 2019.

At the same occasion, Burundi’s Chief of National Defense Force, Lt. Gen. Prime Niyongabo, noted that the event in Bujumbura created an opportunity for enhancing regional integration and commended the Media for effectively publicizing the event to the whole region and international world. He urged those athletes who did not win anything to go back and prepare adequately for the next edition.

Present at the occasion were also Uganda’s Minister of State for Defence and Veteran Affairs, Hon. Lt Col (Rtd) Dr. Bright Rwamirama; Burundi’s Minister in the Office of the President Responsible for EAC Affairs, Hon. Isabelle Ndahayo, and Military Attachés of the EAC Partner States and others.

The Chief of Defence Forces for Tanzania was represented by Major General Elias Nicanor Athanas, Chief of Reserve Force; Uganda was represented by the Deputy Chief of Defence Forces, Lt. General Wilson Mbadi, and Kenya Defence Force by the Airforce Commander, Major General Samuel Thuita.

In the overall, Kenya took the top position in the 11th EAC Military Games by wining 4 Gold Medals i.e. in Football, Volleyball, Netball, and Cross-country. Tanzania took the second position having won two Gold Medals both in Basketball and Cross- country (men), silver medals in Volleyball and Netball and Bronze for cross country (women).

Uganda took the 3rd position by winning silver medal in Netball and football, bronze medal in volleyball, cross country and basketball coming second after Kenya, Tanzania in third position while the host Burundi came in fourth position. Burundi got a silver medal in Basketball.


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For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
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 five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001: 2008 Certified

11th EAC Military Games and Cultural Event 2017 enters Day 4 in Bujumbura

East African Community Secretariat; Bujumbura, Burundi; 30 August 2017:

The 11th EAC Military Games and Cultural Event taking place in Bujumbura, Burundi entered its fourth day with Kenya Defence Force (KDF) taking the lead in Football while Tanzania Peoples Defence Force (TPDF) leading in Netball and Basketball.

The President and Commander-in-Chief of National Defence Force of the Republic of Burundi, H.E. Pierre Nkurunziza officially launched the 11th EAC Military Games and Culture Event 2017 on Saturday 26th August and kicked-off the opening football match between Kenya Defence Force (KDF) and Burundi Defence Force (BDF), in which BDF lost 1-0 to KDF.

On Sunday 27th August, Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF) tussled it out with TPDF in a 1-1 draw match presided over by Brigadier K. Pyaban, Kenya’s Chief of Mission at the Military Games and Cultural Event. On the same day, BDF Basket ballers took on their counterpart in UPDF, in which Uganda scored 66 while Burundi 63.

On Monday 28th August, in Netball (women), Tanzania played Uganda and had a marginal loss 30-31 in a match presided over by Col. Bizindavyi of BDF and Chair of the Organizing Committee of the 11th EAC Military Games and Culture Event 2017. In Volleyball (women), Uganda lost to Tanzania 0-3, while in Basketball (men), Tanzania won Kenya 68-58.

Tuesday 29th August is training day for all teams for Football, Cross-country, Netball, Volleyball, and Basketball various training field within Bujumbura city.

The games for Day 5, Wednesday 30th August 2017, include:

  1. Football (men): Tanzania vs Burundi from 16:00hrs -17:30hrs at Prince Louis Rwagasore National Stadium;
  2. Basketball (men): Kenya vs Burundi (15:30-17:00) at Gems Field; 

  3. Netball (women): Tanzania vs Burundi (16:00-17:30) at ISCAM Field; and 

  4. Volleyball (women): Kenya vs Uganda (09:00-10:30) at Parquet Field.  

EAC Military Games and Culture Events are held in accessible venues by the civilians. In this regard, the Chair of the Organizing Committee of the 2017 Games and Cultural Event, Col. Bizindavyi of BDF has called upon civilian population, tourists/visitors in and around Bujumbura to attend the various games and give support to the teams on the pitch.


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For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
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 five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001: 2008 Certified

Secretary General commends the Defence sector in the region for exemplary programmes

East African Community Secretariat; Bujumbura, Burundi; 28 August 2017:

The Secretary General of the East African Community, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko has commended the Defence sector in the region for its exemplary work and being a shining stay in the regional integration agenda.

Speaking at a Dinner Gala hosted over the weekend at a Bujumbura Hotel by Burundi’s Ministry of Defence for the contingents and officials attending the 11th EAC Military Games and Cultural Event 2017, the Secretary General said that the implementation of the Protocol on Cooperation in Defence Affairs had been one of the successful and exemplary programmes in the EAC integration process geared towards confidence building and solidarity among themselves and the civilian population, as exemplified by the presence and attendance of the civilian population in large numbers during the games and cultural events.

“I commend our Chiefs of Defence Forces for the dedication and big strides they are making towards the realization of the aspirations of the Protocol on Cooperation in Defence matters”, affirmed the Secretary General.

Amb. Mfumukeko informed his audience that since 2005, the Community had held Ten Editions of the Military Games and Cultural Event and the 11th Edition was the second time the Republic of Burundi was hosting the event. The first time Burundi hosted the event was in 2011.

“We at the EAC Secretariat consider this to be a significant achievement and indicator of the good progress we are making in pushing the integration agenda forward,” noted the Secretary General.

Amb. Mfumukeko briefly outlined the achievements the Community was registering in all the pillars of the integration (Customs Union, Common Market, Monetary Union, and Political Federation).

In regard to the Political Federation, the Secretary General said the Heads of State had deliberated on issue and adopted the Political Confederation as a transitional model of the East African Political Federation and directed the Council of Ministers to constitute a team of Constitutional Experts to draft the Constitution for the Political Confederation.

At the same function, Colonel Joseph Bakari, a representative of the International Military Sports Council (CISM) based in Brussels Belgium, a citizen of Tanzania and a serving Officer of the Tanzania Peoples Defence Forces (TPDF) attached to CISM as Assistant to the CISM Director of Sports, reiterated CISM’s appreciation and respect to the Government of Burundi for adherence to CISM goals and ideals and also the EAC Partner States to allow these games to be organized annually on rotational basis.

Col. Bakari, who represented the Secretary General of CISM Col. Dorah Mamby Koita (Guinea), said that what the world witnessed at the official opening of the 11th EAC Military Games and Cultural Event, and throughout the duration of the event in Bujumbura, is sign of peace in the region and the implementation of CISM ideals at the regional level.

“In CISM we have a clear “NO POLITICS IN CISM” institutional principle' that allows us to go beyond barriers and unite soldiers in a peaceful environment in all countries of the world. Suffice to say this is also the same with the EAC military games and therefore qualifying the EAC as a key promoter of International Military Cooperation” noted the CISM official, adding that “Gathering in a spirit of peace and mutual understanding among the EAC Partner States is indeed a genuine demonstration of EAC uniqueness and relevance in the current international military and defense strategies”.

“However, some fundamental values common to every soldier,​wherever they come from, such as determination, open-mindedness, discipline, commitment and respect as well as avoidance of drug use and abuse in sports (Anti doping) should always be emphasized”, declared Col. Bakari.


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Notes to Editor: 

CISM is one of the largest multidisciplinary organizations in the world formed in 1948 after the Second World War. It is made up of 136 member countries recognized by the United Nations as follows:- Africa (46), Asia (30), America (18) and Europe (42). The Motto of CISM is Friendship Through Sport. EAC Partner States are Members of CISM.

Since inception, CISM has established as its primary objectives to bring together, through the vector of sporting activities, the soldiers of the world on the sport fields to ultimately promote friendship and solidarity, embracing the international efforts towards a peaceful world. Soldiers, who may previously have met on the battlefield, now meet in friendship on the sports playing fields.

The current CISM President is Col Abdul Hakeem Alshino (Bahrain) and the Secretary General is Col. Dorah Mamby Koita (Guinea).

Website: www.milsport.one

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
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 five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001: 2008 Certified

President Nkurunziza graces the 11th EAC Military Games and Cultural Event 2017 in Bujumbura

East African Community Secretariat; Bujumbura, Burundi; 28 August 2017:

The 11th EAC Military Games and Cultural Event 2017 kicked off at Prince Louis Rwagasore National Stadium over the weekend with an appeal by the President and Commander-in-Chief of National Defence Force of the Republic of Burundi, H.E. Pierre Nkurunziza “to all members of the East African Community to refrain from provoking one another or helping and abetting individuals or groups likely to disrupt peace and security in any other member State”.

The President, who was the Chief Guest at the colourful opening ceremony, stated that “while Sport was unifying and bringing peoples together, let us compete but you should bear in mind that your job as a soldier is not the easiest. While our national armies do all they can to defend their borders and the region as a whole, you must constantly remember that the threat of terrorism is at an all-time high. We consequently need collective efforts and strategies to fight it”.

H.E. Nkurunziza said by the fact that Burundi was hosting the Event was a clear indication that peace and security was reigning in the country “contrary to what bad-intentioned media and enemies of Burundi spread around the globe”.

He informed the well attended event by both the civilians and invited guests that the games were taking place at a time when Burundi was celebrating ten years since joining the East African Community and his country had gained and contributed a lot ever since it became a member. “Full integration in all sectors is effectively taking shape and this includes the Defence and Security Forces”.

He said culturally, Burundians were proud of themselves for owning drums that had been made by UNESCO part of the global heritage, and Burundi had just scooped the first place worldwide in the recent cultural and tourism exhibitions held in Russia. “I have no doubts that our military were in a position to emulate what their civilian counterparts have been able to achieve recently”, affirmed the President.

He said the region’s efforts in Somalia, Central African Republic and within the Great Lakes Region were examples of the ongoing collective efforts in search of peace in the Region and extended his deep appreciation and gratitude to the Chiefs of the EAC Partner States Defence Forces for their constant and consistent dedication.

“Such a dedication and effort will definitely facilitate the fast tracking and handling of our common problems of security such as terrorism, poaching and cattle rustling which can pose a threat to our regional stability,” noted the President.

H.E. Nkurunziza once again reiterated the commitment of the Republic of Burundi to the integration process and full cooperation within all members of the EAC.

Addressing the same gathering, Burundi’s Defence Minister, Hon. Emmanuel Ntahonvukiye welcomed the contingents to Burundi and said the country was greatly honoured to host the event, which is aimed at fostering the principle of togetherness and solidarity among the Defence Forces of the Community. It is also aimed at promoting physical activity; contribute towards harmonious development of sports and culture in the region, and to the regional and international effort for universal peace.

At the same occasion, the Secretary General of the East African Community, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko disclosed that the Games and Cultural activities had great significance beyond building confidence among the Armed Forces of the Partner States and that it bears a great symbolic significance having regard to the broader goals and vision of a competitive, prosperous and united East Africa.

He said that the presence of the Chiefs of the Defence Forces, the Service Commanders, General Officers; Defence Liaison Officers; and Members of the Armed Forces Contingents of the Partner States, as well as the ordinary citizens in the stadium demonstrates that the vision of the founding fathers of One People, One Destiny can and will be achieved.

The Secretary General reiterated that peace and security were the prerequisites for social and economic development and with the rising security challenges all over the world, the region needs to build strong armed forces within the EAC framework that could work together to face both the internal and external challenges to the development and progress of the Community. “East Africans continue to look upon the Military to show the way forward especially towards the promotion of peace and solidarity and we must never fail them”, asserted Amb. Mfumukeko.

Uganda’s 2nd Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of EAC Affairs and Chairperson of the EAC Council of Minister, Rt. Hon. Kirunda Kivenjija, together with Uganda’s Minister of State for Defence and Veteran Affairs, Hon. Lt Col. (Rtd) Bright Rwamirama also attended the official opening ceremony.

In a thrilling opening football match that was kicked-off by H.E Pierre Nkurunziza, Kenya Defence Force defeated National Defence Force of Burundi 1-0.


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For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
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 five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001: 2008 Certified

EAC Headquarters to host Regional Youth Consultations on Elections and Democracy in Africa

East African Community Secretariat; Arusha, Tanzania; 27 August 2017:

The 2017 Regional Youth Consultations Forum in close collaboration with Regional Economic Communities( RECs) as members of the African Governance Architecture (AGA) will be held on 28th to 30th August, 2017 at the East African Community Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The overall goal of the regional youth consultations is to provide a collaborative, open and inclusive space for young people to critically and objectively reflect on the progress made so far; challenges encountered; and prospects for enhancing meaningful youth participation in Africa’s democratization processes, particularly in its electoral processes.

The forum will also provide a platform for reflection on barriers and opportunities for meaningful youth participation in electoral processes at the individual, organizational and societal levels; Improve capacity of youth-led and focused organizations /networks towards enhanced youth organizing and participation in electoral processes at local and national levels with the aim of moving from tokenistic to impact-oriented approaches; Create functional linkages between national and regional networks as well as their initiatives aimed at empowering young people to meaningfully participate in political processes in general and electoral processes in particular among others.

The three-day forum will be expected to come up with actionable recommendations grounded in a rights-based approach to youth political participation to improve individual programming of African Union (AU) Organs, and Regional Economic Communities (RECs);enhance efforts towards meaningful youth participation in political parties, government ministries, and agencies, including media.

In addition, the forum expected enhanced capacity of youth-led or -focused organisations and networks to foster young people’s participation in democratic elections and ensure accountability and transparency; as well as provide baseline information and also disseminated to facilitate sharing of best practices and lessons learned among the AU Member States.

The 2017 youth consultations themed; Enhancing Young People’s Meaningful Participation in Electoral Processes in Africa” will be convened under the auspices of the African Governance Architecture (AGA) Youth Engagement Strategy (AGA-YES), to assess young people’s participation in electoral processes in Africa.

The Secretary General of EAC Amb Liberat Mfumukeko is expected to grace the official opening session of the youth consultation on 28th August 2017.

The forum will be attended by Youth-led and oriented organizations implementing activities that are related to youth in electoral processes, programmes and activities; Prominent youth-led and -focused organizations and networks that work on issues of democratic elections and young people’s participation in electoral processes; Youth representatives from political parties, Elections Commissions, Civil Society Organization(CSOs) Non-Governmental  Organizations, government and Members of Parliaments.

Selected think tanks and academic research institutions with experience in promoting youth participation in electoral processes; Selected media practitioners; and Youth focal points for and representatives of the African Governance Platform Members will also attend.


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Notes to Editor: 

Over the past three decades, Africa has witnessed a commendable shift in the process of leadership change, with coup-d’états replaced with competitive elections. The continent continues to witness an increase in regular, credible and transparent elections, which have become the embodiment of Africa’s democratisation progress. Nonetheless, electoral processes are however becoming intricate, with increasing attention paid to the ‘democratic’ nature of these elections.

A concern has been the inclusivity of the electoral process particularly as it affects young people. Except for few countries, the participation of youth has been limited to voting, which in itself is relatively low when compared with other demographic groups. For instance, despite young people’s demographic strength, Africa’s youth participation in political processes, including electoral processes, is still lower than that of their elders, particularly in terms of voting.

According to a survey conducted by Afro barometer in 36 African countries between 2014 and 2015, 66% of 18-to-35-year-old respondents’ old enough to vote in the elections voted, compared to 79% of citizens above the age of 35.

In an effort to cast the light on the needs of its rapidly growing young population and to devise means of harnessing the demographic dividend, AU Heads of State and Government at the January 2016 Assembly Summit devoted the year 2017 to “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth.” In order to give effect to the AU Assembly Decision on the 2017 theme of the year, a Roadmap was developed and adopted by the AU Policy Organs.

The African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 categorically identified youth are key stakeholders in the attainment of the goal and aspirations of Agenda 2063. This is premised on the youth bulge currently experienced on the continent, with over 60% of the population under 30 years and the promise of a demographic dividend it holds if adequate investments are made in their social, economic and political agency  as its long-term development vision, with the goal of “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.”

Cognizant of the value young people bring to Africa’s development and democratisation process, AU recognizes young people as partners, leaders, and beneficiaries in building a democratic culture on the continent.

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
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 five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001: 2008 Certified

EAC, COMESA and ICGLR Election Observer Missions give Clean Bill of health to 2017 Rwandan Presidential Election

East African Community Secretariat; Kigali, Rwanda; 06 August 2017:

Three Election Observer Missions including the East African Community (EAC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the International Conference of the Great Lakes (ICGLR) have given a clean bill to the Rwandan Presidential Election in which President Paul Kagame won with a landslide.

In preliminary statements at a press briefing in Kigali today, the Heads of Mission of the three Election Observer Missions (EOMs) said that the election was free and fair and that it was held in a peace and secure atmosphere.

The three, Hon. Moody Awori for EAC, Bishop Mary Nkosi (COMESA) and Hon. Arinaitwe Rwajakara further noted that all presidential candidates including the two from the opposition were provided with security and allowed to campaign freely across the country.

They noted that the media, both public and private, played a crucial role in the campaigns by according balanced and equitable coverage to all the presidential candidates during campaigns in addition to highlighting the key policy issues that were at the heart of the campaigns.

“It was noted that the media including the state-owned Rwanda Broadcasting Agency radio and television stations gave equal airtime to the three presidential candidates to market themselves to the electorate. The EAC EOM noted that while editorial airtime was doled out equally to the candidates, the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front was more visible in the political advertising segment as the only entity that bought advertising slots,” said Awori.

Noting that only the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front party had agents at nearly all the polling stations, the EOMs called on all Political Parties and Independent Candidates to facilitate the deployment of agents at most polling rooms.

In their preliminary recommendations, the three EOMs however called for capacity building especially the need to train polling clerks on election management.

The three missions also emphasized the need for continuous voter/civic education to empower citizens to make informed decisions on Election Day.

They recommended that the practice of playing loud music while the voting process was underway be reconsidered, as it appeared disruptive and noisy.

In its recommendations, EAC urged the Executive and Parliament in Rwanda to consider amending the electoral laws to further empower the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and enhance its autonomy.

EAC also asked the Executive and Legislature in Rwanda to consider legislation to provide for equitable public funding of electoral campaigns.

EAC advised the NEC to explore prospects of limiting support by security agencies to providing security and progressively delinking security personnel from transportation of election materials as per good international practice.

In its recommendation, COMESA urged the Government of Rwanda and NEC to gradually consider incorporating information technology in the electoral process, particularly the transmission of results.

The Rwandan presidential election was contested by the incumbent president Paul Kagame of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party and journalist Philippe Mpayimana who is running as an independent candidate. President Kagame won the election sweeping 98 per cent of the votes cast.


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For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
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 five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001: 2008 Certified

Prof. Rugumoyo flags off EAC Election Observer Mission to the 8th August General Elections in Kenya

East African Community Secretariat; Nairobi, Kenya; 05 August 2017:

The East African Community Election Observer Mission to Kenya’s 8th August 2017 General Elections yesterday flagged off by the Head of the Mission (HoM), Hon. Prof. Edward B. Rugumayo in Nairobi, Kenya.

Addressing the Observers and the Media, the HoM commended the people of Kenya for so far conducting themselves with maturity in one of the most vibrant election campaigns the country had ever seen.

“I trust that this level of dignity, level mindedness and peace will be upheld throughout the campaigning period, on Election Day and thereafter,” asserted Prof. Rugumayo, adding that “a transparent and peaceful election will manifest the sovereign of all Kenyans to democratically choose their leaders and guarantee peace, stability and economic growth in the country and the region as a whole”. Prof. Rugumayo commended the EAC Election Observers for the dedication and commitment that they had displayed by agreeing to be part of the mission to observe the General Elections in Kenya.

The Head of the Mission flagged off 60 Observers who will cover 21 counties of the 47 counties in the country. The Mission is to observe that the elections are conducted in a transparent, credible, free and fair environment and are in line with the universally acceptable principles of democracy and good governance. 

The Observers will follow the campaigns; meet election officials, the populace, candidates and other stakeholders up to and beyond Election Day.

The Observer Mission will release a Preliminary Report on 10th August 2017 after the election and the long-term observer team will spend two more weeks after the election to compile the final observation report with recommendations to the various stakeholders in the Kenya electoral system. 

Meanwhile, the Head of the Mission has continued to engage with the various stakeholders during this period. He has met and held discussions with the Chief Justice, David Maraga on the state of preparedness of the Judiciary to the forthcoming General Elections.

The HoM also met the Chair of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Mr. Wafula Chebukati and engaged with the Presidential Candidate Dr. Ekuru Aukot of Thirdway Alliance Kenya (TAK).

The HoM and the EAC Observers received  briefings by the Secretary General of the Jubilee Party, Hon. Rapheal Tuju, and from the Chief Executive Officer of the NASA, Mr. Norman Mayaga.


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For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
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 five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

 The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001: 2008 Certified

EAC, COMESA Observer Mission Heads hail Rwanda’s cost effective Presidential Eelection

East African Community Secretariat; Kigali, Rwanda; 01 August 2017:

he Heads of the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Election Observer Missions (EOMs) have hailed the Republic of Rwanda for holding a cost effective presidential election.

Hon. Moody Awori for EAC and Bishop Mary Nkosi (COMESA) further praised the preparedness of the Rwanda National Electoral Commission (NEC) to conduct the election slated for Friday, 4th August, 2017.

Hon. Awori and Bishop Nkosi observed that the 2017 presidential election would not be as expensive as the previous one held in 2010 in that the unit cost had reduced to US$1 from US$3 per voter.

The two leaders further said it was noteworthy that the NEC has just 55 permanent staff and would rely on 70,000 volunteers thereby cutting down heavily on operational expenses.

They further noted that the people of Rwanda were conducting peaceful and orderly campaigns.

Hon. Awori and Bishop Nkosi held a meeting at the Kigali Serena Hotel where the EAC EOM Secretariat is based. Both Mission heads have already met the Chair of the NEC to assess its preparedness for the election.

Hon. Awori informed Bishop Nkosi that members of the EAC EOM had already been trained, provided with observation gadgets and flagged off to the 30 districts of Rwanda.

The former Kenyan Vice President said that a multiple level general election as is the case in most African countries often brings about numerous logistical challenges compounded with the vast geographical sizes.

“In Rwanda, it is notable that there are only three candidates contesting in the presidential election,” he said.

Apart from the EAC, COMESA and the African Union, the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) will observe the Rwandan election.

Hon. Awori and Bishop Nkosi said that it would be ideal if the EAC, COMESA and other African observation missions present their preliminary reports jointly on 6th August, 2017. 

The Rwandan presidential election is will be contested by the incumbent president Paul Kagame of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party and journalist Philippe Mpayimana who is running as an independent candidate.


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For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
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 five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001: 2008 Certified


East African Community
EAC Close
Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
Arusha
United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac@eachq.org  |  sgoffice@eachq.org