ARUSHA, Tanzania, February 15, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — National Assemblies have a fundamental role to play in ensuring the integration process remains on track, the Speaker of the EALA, the Rt. Hon. Abdirahin Abdi said yesterday when he met with a delegation of Parliamentarians from Uganda
The Rt Hon. Abdi noted the need for the Parliaments to work towards passage of laws that would enable the implementation of the Common Market Protocol be realised and urged the Assemblies to monitor progress of the integration process in general.
“National Assemblies must ensure the Common Market which was entered into force in 2010 becomes realizable. I urge Partner States to move with haste on this matter which is overdue and to create an enabling avenue”, Hon Abdi said.
The Parliamentarians who are Members of the Social Services Committee are in Arusha on a three day familiarization tour of the EAC. Hon Jacob Opolot, MP heads the delegation. Other Members are Hon Lemetia Ruth Ondora, MP, Hon Khainze Justine, MP and Mr. Mukaga James, Committee Clerk.
The EALA Speaker briefed the delegation of the proceedings of the 3rd Meeting of the 5th Session, which ended in Kampala recently. He mentioned that two crucial Bills related to social services were deliberated in Kampala. The Inter-University Council of East Africa (Amendment) Bill 2010 was passed while leave was granted to a Member to introduce the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Management Bill 2010, Hon Abdi remarked.
The Speaker said with the Common Market in place, mobility of labour and services was inevitable and that it would enable the region to enjoy and reap the benefits. He maintained that access to information remained a fundamental pre-cursor to the integration process. ‘We need to sensitise the populace, enhance interaction between the small traders at the borders to take advantage of the Community’, the Speaker remarked while calling on the media to publish positive stories around the Community.
On their part, the Parliamentarians urged the Community to fast-track harmonization of social services sector notably the health and education sectors. The Members hailed EALA for the progress it had achieved in realizing its mandate.
“It is important for us as Parliaments to know where we are at and where we are going if the integration dispensation is to be strengthened”, Hon Opolot said adding that the government and citizens of Uganda remained steadfast in their commitment to the integration process.
The Parliamentarians were expected to meet with the EAC Secretary General, Amb Dr.Richard Sezibera and hold discussions with the Health department at the EAC later today.
East African Community (EAC)