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EAC, Germany sign 37 million euros Agreement to support Regional Integration

The Federal Republic of Germany signed an intergovernmental agreement with the East African Community (EAC) to support the economic integration, regional health facilities and water resource management. Germany signed a total of 37 million euros in grants to the EAC for 2016-2018, highlighting the strong commitment to support the integration process in East Africa.

  • 10 million euro in financial assistance will be invested in the establishment of a regional network of reference laboratories for communicable diseases. With this project, the German Government responds to a request for support from the EAC for the prevention and control of epidemic outbreaks in the region. Another 10 million euros in financial assistance will be used for Integrated Water Resource Management of Lake Victoria aiming at improving water provision and management of water resources. Both projects will be implemented by KfW development bank.
  • 17 million euros in technical assistance will be made available to further support of the economic integration process, including a contribution to the EAC partnership fund. The programme is focusing on institutional strengthening of the EAC Secretariat and on supporting the implementation of the Customs Union, Common Market and Monetary Union Protocols. This includes the elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers such as tax harmonisation as well as Mutual Recognition Agreements for qualifications. At the same time, Germany will support the EAC in promoting private investment especially in the pharmaceutical sector, including the establishment of a regional quality infrastructure for the pharmaceutical sector. These projects will be implemented by GIZ and PTB – German Metrology Institute.

During the signing ceremony, Amb. Dr Richard Sezibera, the EAC Secretary-General, thanked the German government for her continued support to the Integration Agenda, especially at a time when integration is facing challenges across the world. He said this particular financing agreement comes at the right time when the Community is finalising its new Vision 2050.

Mr John Reyels, Chargé d’Affaires of the German Embassy Dar es Salaam, said: “Our support underlines the importance we give to the East African Community. The EAC is a role model and pace-setter in Africa and we are proud working closely with you in order to contribute to the well-being and prosperity of the citizens of this region”.

Since cooperation began in 1998, the total volume of German support to the EAC amounts to almost 213 million euros. Germany also has substantial bilateral cooperation with all five EAC Partner States.

Press Alert: Press Conference and 2nd Public Hearing Workshop on the Humanitarian Crisis in Burundi

The East African Legislative Assembly will hold a Press conference on Monday, 25th January at 9.00am to inform the public about the forthcoming 4th Meeting of the 4th Session of the 3rd Assembly that takes place at the EALA Chambers in Arusha until 5th February 2016. The Press Conference shall be addressed by the Speaker of EALA, Rt Hon. Daniel Fred Kidega.

Immediately thereafter, you are invited to cover the 2nd Public hearing workshop on the petition filed by the Pan-African Lawyers Union on the deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in Burundi that starts at the EALA Chambers at 10.30 am. The Government of Burundi led by Ambassador Alain Aime Nyamitwe, Minister in charge of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation will make submissions.

The Committee on Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution is set to establish the facts of humanitarian atrocities as reported in the petition and to make recommendations to the EALA which will be meeting.

 

Activity 1

WHAT: Press Conference addressed by Rt Hon. Daniel F. Kidega, Speaker of EALA

WHEN: Monday, 25th January 2016 at 9.00 am

WHERE: EAC VIP Room (Long), Arusha, Tanzania

 

Activity 2

WHAT: 2nd Public hearing workshop organised by the EALA Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolutions Committee on the humanitarian crisis in Burundi to be addressed by representatives of Government of Burundi led by Ambassador Alain Aime Nyamitwe, Minister in charge of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation

WHEN: Monday, 25th January 2016 at 10.30 am

WHERE: EALA Chambers, Arusha, Tanzania

 

Kindly confirm your participation for this event to Mr Florian Mutabazi on Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and Mr Bobi Odiko on Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 2.30pm on Saturday, 23rd January 2016.

EALA Public Hearing Workshop on the Republic of Burundi resumes in Arusha on Monday, 25th January 2016

The second public hearing workshop on the Petition filed at EALA by the Pan-African Lawyers Union (PALU) on the deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in the Republic of Burundi takes place at the EALA Chambers on Monday, 25th January 2016.

According to a dispatch from Bujumbura received by the Office of the Clerk, EALA, a Government of Burundi delegation led by Ambassador Alain Aimé Nyamitwe, Minister in Charge of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will make submissions at the public hearing workshop. In the delegation is Hon. Alain Guillaume Bunyoni, Minister of Public Security; Hon. Léontine Nzeyimana, Minister to the Office of the President responsible for East African Community Affairs and Mr Gélase Ndabirabe, spokesperson of the Ruling Party, CNDD–FDD. Others are Mr Augustin Nzojibwami, leader of the SANGWE PADER Party, Leader of the FNL Party, Mr Jacques Bigirimana, leader of the UPRONA Party, Madame Concile Nibigira and the leader of the Coalition of Parties, Mr Jean de Dieu Mutabazi.

The EALA Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution Committee initially called for the public hearing workshop on 13-16th January 2016 to review the petition by the PALU submitted to EALA in November 2015 on the subject matter.

However, the Assembly received a letter from the Government of the Republic of Burundi vide a letter dated 8th January 2016, indicating their unavailability on the dates (13-16th Jan 2016) but reiterating the desire to participate in the workshop after 18th January 2016.

On Day 1, the Public Hearing Workshop orally received the petition from the six petitioners. The presentation was made on behalf of the petitioners by the Chief Executive Officer of PALU, Mr Don Deya. Immediately thereafter, Members took the opportunity to seek clarifications on the presentation.

On Day 2, the Workshop listened to the contributions from other invited stakeholders comprising of the representatives of Civil Society Organisations and the opposition parties in Burundi.

Chairman of the Regional and Conflict Resolution Committee, Hon. Abdullah Mwinyi said the Monday public hearing is also open to other stakeholders interested in attending, upon prior arrangement.

Once finalised, the Committee shall retreat and prepare its Report which will be forwarded to the Assembly for deliberations at 4th Meeting of the 4th Session which commences in Arusha on Monday, 25th January 2016 through to 5th February 2016.

EALA to hold Plenary in Arusha next week

The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) shall hold its sitting in Arusha, Tanzania, next week. The Forth Meeting of the Fourth Session of the Third Assembly takes place from Monday, 24th January 2016 to Friday, 5th February 2016.

The Assembly is to be presided over by the Speaker, Rt Hon. Daniel F. Kidega. Top on the agenda during the two week period is debate on the EAC Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Bill, 2013, as well as reports emanating from various Committees following deliberations with key stakeholders in the integration process.

The Objective of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Bill, 2013 is to provide a legal framework at regional and national level for timely intervention in disaster situations and to protect the people and the natural environment affected by disaster through comprehensive disaster risk reduction and management.

The Bill which was due for the 3rd reading at the 4th meeting of the 2nd Session in Kampala, Uganda in January 2014, was adjourned following a request by the Chairperson of the Council of Ministers, citing the need to consult the relevant provisions of the Treaty and to allow for pursuit of the ratification of the EAC Protocol on Peace and Security. The said Protocol, among other objectives, provides for co-operation in DRR management and crisis response.

Earlier in August 2013, the EAC Council of Ministers moved a Motion seeking to take over the Bill from the original mover, Hon. Patricia Hajabakiga, make appropriate amendments and initiate its re-introduction as a Council of Ministers’ Bill. The move was preceded by a sitting of the Sectoral Council on Environment to give policy direction to the said Bill.

The issue of the humanitarian situation in the Republic of Burundi is also expected to be a matter of discussions at EALA should the Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution Committee complete and present its Report on the Petition by the Pan-African Lawyers Union (PALU) concerning the political situation in Burundi. Last week, the Committee held a public hearing workshop in Arusha where it listened to the PALU petition as well as to the contributions by other stakeholders comprising of the representatives of Civil Society Organisations and the opposition parties in Burundi. The Committee is expected to listen to representatives of the Government of Burundi on 25th January 2016, who requested to be considered to appear before it after 18th January 2016. Thereafter, it will retreat to prepare its report to the Assembly for debate.

The House is further expected to consider a report of the General Purpose Committee on a petition on work and residence permits supplicated by the East African Trade Union Confederation (EATUC) and the East African Employers Organisation (EAEO). The petition, amongst other things, states the desire of workers and employers to see the Common Market Protocol fully implemented to enhance productivity.

In March 2015, the EATUC / EAEO presented a petition to the Speaker of EALA in which it made 17 prayers including the harmonisation of the standards and processes of acquiring permits as well as the future amendment of annex 2 of the Common Market Protocol to put in place a roadmap for free movement of workers. The petitioners further call for standardisation of the processes of issuance of work permits, pending their eventual removal in the long-run. The General Purpose Committee has since met with the employers and prepared its report which is to be debated by the House.

The House will also receive and debate on the report of the Committee on General Purpose on the EAC Annual Report as well as a Report of the Committee on Legal Rules and Privileges on a resolution moved under Rule 30(J) of the Assembly Rules of Procedure on a matter of privileges arising from a threat of tenure of office of Members.

EALA Sittings are held under the principle of rotation in line with Article 55 of the EAC Treaty. EALA held its last Sitting in November 2015 in Kigali, Rwanda.

Awori hands over Tanzania Election Observation Report to EAC Secretary-General

H.E. Moody Awori, former Kenyan Vice President, presented Amb. Dr Richard Sezibera, EAC Secretary-General, with the final observation report from the recently concluded Presidential and Parliamentary Elections held in Tanzania last year. The ceremony took place at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

While receiving the Report, the Secretary-General thanked the former Vice President for his leadership and commitment to the EAC Elections Observers Mission, adding that, “the collaboration between the EAC and other stakeholders led to sustainable peace in the country”.

In October 2015, a 55-member team was deployed to Dar es Salaam to observe the country’s General Elections in both Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar. The Mission was drawn from different complementary disciplines that included members of the East African Legislative Assembly, as well as members of the National Assemblies from Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi, National Electoral Commissions, National Human Rights Commissions, Civil Society Organisations, and youth representatives from the EAC Youth Ambassadors Forum.

“I was very happy to observe the steadfastness, determination, patience and orderliness with which Tanzania conducted her General Elections”, said H.E. Awori. “These and many other positives that have also been highlighted in the report can be used as benchmarks, for which other countries can borrow good practices from”, he said.

The report consists of recommendations to streamline and improve the electoral process for future elections in Tanzania.

9th Meeting of the EAC Sectoral Council on Agriculture and Food Security underway in Arusha

The 9th meeting of the EAC Sectoral Council on Agriculture and Food Security is on going at the EAC Headquarters.

The objective of the meeting is to review the progress made in the implementation of Council decisions and consideration of other issues of regional importance in the areas of Agriculture and Food Security including crops, livestock and fisheries, and related issues.

The Meeting is being conducted through the sessions of the Senior Officials from 18-20th January 2016, Permanent / Principal Secretaries’ session on 21st January 2016 and the Ministerial / Cabinet Secretaries’ session on 22nd January 2016.

Addressing the official opening of the Senior Officials on behalf of the EAC Deputy Secretary-General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Director of Productive, Mr Jean Baptiste Havugimana echoed the critical role of the Agriculture and Food Security in the EAC region.

He expressed the EAC Secretariat’s commitment to collaborating with Partner States to spur efforts towards enhancing food and nutrition security and facilitating trade within the region and beyond.

Public Hearing Workshop on the Humanitarian Crisis in Burundi

The East African Legislative Assembly will from Wednesday (13 January 2016) hold a four-day public hearing workshop on the humanitarian crisis in Burundi.

The EALA Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution Committee has called for the public hearing workshop that is intended to review the petition by the Pan African Lawyers Union submitted to EALA in November 2015 on the subject matter.

The Committee on Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution is set to establish the facts of humanitarian atrocities as reported in the petition and to make recommendations to the House during the next Sitting scheduled to commence on 24th January 2016 in Arusha.

Participants are expected from the Committee Membership, government officials from the Republic of Burundi, Civil Society Organisation representatives from Burundi, representatives from the country’s Political Parties and the petitioners.

WHAT: Public hearing workshop on the humanitarian crisis in Burundi

WHEN: Wednesday, 13 January - Saturday, 16 January 2015

WHERE: EALA Chambers, Arusha, Tanzania

Kindly confirm your participation for this event latest to Mr Florian Mutabazi on Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and Mr Bobi Odiko on Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 2pm today.

EALA to hold Public Hearing Workshop on Republic of Burundi on 13-16 January 2016 in Arusha

EALA will from Wednesday (13 January 2016) hold a four-day public hearing workshop on the humanitarian crisis in Burundi.

The EALA Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution Committee has called for the public hearing workshop that is intended to review the petition by the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) submitted to EALA in November 2015 on the subject matter.

The Committee on Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution is set to establish the facts of humanitarian atrocities as reported in the petition and to make recommendations to the House during the next Sitting scheduled to commence on 24th January 2016 in Arusha.

Participants are expected from the Committee Membership, government officials from the Republic of Burundi, Civil Society Organisation representatives from Burundi, representatives from the country’s Political Parties and the petitioners.

On 16th November 2015, four Civil Society Organisations led by PALU petitioned EALA to urgently undertake specified number of actions within its mandate to contain the situation in the Republic of Burundi. The petition was presented to the Speaker of EALA, Rt Hon. Daniel F. Kidega, in Arusha by PALU and the East African Civil Society Organisations’ Forum (EACSOF).

In addition to PALU (Principal Petitioner) and EACSOF, Atrocities Watch Africa, Centre for Citizens’ Participation on the African Union, East Africa Law Society and the Kituo Cha Katiba also appended their signatures to the petition.

In the petition, the Civil Society representatives urged EALA inter alia to call upon the Chair of the Assembly of Heads of State and Governments of the African Union to take concrete steps towards preventing Burundi from descending into genocide or mass atrocities. Such measures the petition stated include, enhancing the numbers and capacity of the Human Rights Monitors and Military Monitors deployed to the country. They further called for the sanctions regime of the African Union to be activated.

The petitioners also urged the House to make strong recommendations to the Summit of EAC Heads of State that the Republic of Burundi should not assume the rotating Chairmanship of the EAC until it resolves the political, human rights and humanitarian crisis in the country.

The petition calls on EALA, or a relevant Committee within, to immediately hold a public hearing in Arusha, Tanzania that would welcome Burundian and East African citizens to testify to the occurrences in the country and to suggest proposals for resolution to the crises.

The petition stated that there were numerous reports of cases of assassinations, extra-judicial and arbitrary killings of over 130 persons (at time of presentation) and thus, implored EALA to condemn what it terms arbitrary killings as well as the inordinate use of force by the police, security officials and members of a youth wing group, Imbonerakure.

The petitioners, in addition, want EALA to request the African Union to intervene in the political and humanitarian crisis citing its comprehensive and far-reaching legal and institutional framework that includes the Constitutive Act of the African Union, 2000 and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights amongst others.

The EALA Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution Committee has been following developments in Burundi for some time now and accordingly, the crisis is labeled as one of the severest challenges to peace and stability to the EAC. At the Plenary Sitting held in Nairobi, the Committee tabled the Report on the Goodwill Mission to the refugee camps hosting Burundi citizens in the Republic of Rwanda and the United Republic of Tanzania.

The Report, among other things, called on the EAC Partner States to support immediate interventions towards sustaining peace in Burundi and the EAC at large. It also urged the EAC Partner States to expedite the enactment of a regional legal framework for the management of refugees and to harmonise laws on how to handle intra-refugees’ matters in the region.

Last week, The Minister for Foreign Affairs, EAC, Regional and International Relations of the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers, Hon. Ambassador Dr Augustine Mahiga, convened a Consultative Meeting in Arusha to deliberate on the way forward on the situation in Burundi.

The meeting noted with appreciation and expressed support for the steps taken in particular by the EAC, the AU and the UN and the resultant Communiques and related pronouncements including by the EAC Emergency Summits of 13th May and 6th July 2015; by the AU Peace and Security Council on 17th October, 13th November and 17th December 2015; the United Nations Security Council’s Presidential Statement of 28th October 2015 and the United Nations Security Council’s Resolution 2248(2015) of 12th November 2015.

The meeting further expressed concern on the continued political crisis in Burundi and its potential to degenerate further with far-reaching humanitarian implications. It thus reiterated the need for the parties to embrace political dialogue as the only feasible way to end the impasse.

4th EAC University Students’ debate kicks off in Kampala

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda, Rt Hon. Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has hailed the EAC Secretariat and various partners for creating a platform for young people to discuss their role in the future of their respective countries and most importantly, the East Africa region.

Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, who was today officially opening the 4th EAC University Students’ Debate on Regional Integration at the International University of East Africa campus in Kasanga, Kampala, said as young people, the youth should continue to explore the opportunities being availed by the East African Community and to use such platforms to hasten their knowledge and network among themselves.

The Prime Minister, who was represented by Prof. Dr Sandy Stevens Tickodri Tagaboa, the State Minister in charge of Higher Education, Science and Technology, said there was need to encourage dialogue among the youths to promote the ethos of ethical and accountable leadership aimed at developing positive attitudes among the young people in the region.

He said since the 4th EAC University Students’ Debate was focussing on values, ethics and leadership, the three form the moral fibre of society and were critical to moulding the choices that youth make by imparting in them the desired principles such as integrity and accountability which are key in advancing the broad aims of the EAC integration, with youth as key stakeholders.

The Prime Minister disclosed that a National Youth Policy in Uganda was formulated in 2002 with the aim of enhancing youth participation in overall development processes and improving their quality of life.

Dr Rugunda noted that corruption remains a key challenge in the region and it was worrying that only about 53% of East Africans think they can make a difference in the fight against the vice. “This is an alarming statistic and as young people, you should ensure that you fight this trend”.

The Prime Minister noted that young people today had embraced the power of the internet and social media to interact, express themselves and to make their voice heard in a way that was not possible before. He therefore called upon the youth in the region to make linkages between democratic processes and these new ways of expression and communication and to use them to reinforce rather than threaten democracy.

While welcoming the students and invited guests to the event, the EAC Deputy Secretary-General in charge of Political Federation, Mr Charles Njoroge said the Debate was one among other initiatives aimed at bringing young people on board to dialogue on core issues pertinent to the EAC integration agenda.

The Deputy Secretary-General reaffirmed that the theme for the debate, the importance of upholding democratic principles, ethics and accountability among youth in advancing EAC integration, was very timely as ethics, integrity and upholding principles of democratic governance were among the fundamental principles and core values of the EAC.

“Other values that we hold dear, include celebrating unity in diversity, being accountable to the people, upholding the rule of law and ensuring transparency. The current dialogue on this theme is promising… it is in sync with the on-going debate in most of the EAC Partner States”, noted the EAC official.

Prof. Olubayi Olubayi, Vice Chancellor, International University of East Africa urged the students in the region to nurture the culture of innovativeness, while Prof. Pontien Ndabandeza, the Deputy Executive Secretary, Inter-University Council of East Africa, hailed the EAC Secretariat for introducing the spirit and culture of competitiveness within and among the students and University communities in East Africa.

Director Dr Alex Awiti, who was also the Moderator for the 4th EAC University Students Debate, represented Aga Khan University.

Over 200 young men and women from different Universities in Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda are participating in the 2-day event.

ITC, EAC launch new project to boost African Trade

The International Trade Centre (ITC) and the East African Community (EAC) yesterday announced that the two organisations are launching a new, joint project to boost intra-African trade.

The Trade and Regional Integration Project (TRIP) for EAC was announced by the EAC Secretary-General Amb. Dr Richard Sezibera and ITC Executive Director Arancha González on the margins of the World Trade Organisation’s Ministerial Conference taking place in Nairobi, Kenya from 15-18 December 2015.

The new initiative aims to strengthen existing efforts by East African Partner States for closer economic integration, including the EAC Customs Union and the EAC Common Market.

The TRIP for EAC project also sets out to support the African Union’s Action Plan for Boosting Intra-African Trade and the recently agreed tripartite free-trade agreement among the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the EAC and the Southern African Development Community.

Specifically the project aims to boost the competitiveness of EAC-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), enabling them to step up intra-and inter-regional trade. The project will have a strong focus on women’s economic empowerment, and will also support wider private-sector development in the EAC to spur deeper economic integration, including in agriculture, information and communication technologies, and tourism.

“Regional integration led by the private sector is a powerful vehicle for boosting growth, creating jobs and promoting economic development”, Ms González said. “Enabling the private sector and policymakers to take advantage of trade opportunities is at the heart of what ITC does. We are looking forward to doing this in collaboration with the EAC, and to ensuring sustainable growth for East African countries and their SMEs”.

Amb. Sezibera said: “This cooperation will contribute to improve the global competitiveness of our region and to trigger sustainable economic growth”. Implementation of the five-year US$ 8.5 million TRIP for EAC project is set to begin in January 2016. The Government of Finland has pledged to provide initial funding.

ITC and the EAC will intervene at three levels to provide integrated solutions to problems of SME competitiveness. At the enterprise level, they will work to enhance the competitiveness of SMEs in selected sectors, with a strong focus on women entrepreneurs.

At the institutional level, they will work to strengthen trade and investment support institutions, enabling them to better serve their SME clients, especially on export development and international marketing services.

Finally, at the trade policy level, the project will aim to enhance the business environment through improving trade facilitation and public-private dialogue to ensure that reforms correspond to business needs.


East African Community
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Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
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Email: eac@eachq.org