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Thursday, 29 January 2015 00:00

EALA SWEARS IN NEW TANZANIA MINISTER TO EAC

EALA SWEARS IN NEW TANZANIA MINISTER TO EAC


…Dr Mwakyembe was an elected Member of the First EALA in 2001-2005


East African Legislative Assembly, Arusha, Tanzania, January 28 2015: The United Republic of Tanzania’s new Minister for East African Cooperation, Hon Dr Harrison George Mwakyembe was this afternoon sworn-in as an Ex-Officio Member of EALA.  The Oath of Allegiance to the House was administered by the Clerk of EALA, before the EALA Speaker, Rt. Hon Dan Kidega.


Hon Dr. Mwakyembe took the oath in accordance with Rule 6 of the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly. The Rules of Procedure say in part that: “No Member can sit or participate in the proceedings of the House until the Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance to the Treaty is taken”.

Rule 6(3) specifically states that “when a Member first attends to take his or her seat other than at the first sitting of a new House, he or she shall be brought to the table by two Members and presented by them to the Speaker who shall then administer the Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance”.

 

The Minister was ushered into the House by Hon Shem Bageine, Minister for EAC, Republic of Uganda, Hon Dr. Nderakindo Kessy and Hon Nusura Tiperu.


Article 48 (1) (b) (1) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community, requires the Minister responsible for East African Community Affairs from each Partner State to become an ex-Officio member of the East African Legislative Assembly.


Hon Dr Mwakyembe, was appointed Minister for EAC on January 24, 2015, following a Cabinet reshuffle by H.E. President Jakaya Kikwete. He swops places with the former EAC Minister, Hon Samuel Sitta who was moved to the Ministry of Transport.


Hon Dr. Mwakyembe is the Member of Parliament for Kyela Constituency since 2005.  He was an elected member of EALA in the first Assembly (2001-2005) and chaired the Tanzania Chapter of EALA for two years between 2003 and 2005.

 

Hon Dr. Mwakyembe who holds a PhD. In law from the University of Hamburg has several years of political experience.  He has been a Member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi for five years and also served as the party’s legal advisor in 2001.   Hon Dr. Mwakyembe was a Commissioner of the Joint Presidential Supervisory Commission in Zanzibar in 2001-2005. He was formerly a Deputy Minister for Works in 2010-2012.

 

He has lectured in law at the University of Dar es Salaam and is a holder of a Masters’ degree in Law from the University of Dar es Salaam and a similar one from the University of Hamburg. Hon Dr Mwakyembe, an Advocate of the High Court of Tanzania, also holds a Post-Graduate certificate in Intellectual Property from the University of Turin, Italy. Dr Mwakyembe was once a media practitioner, and holds a Diploma in Journalism from the Tanzania School of Journalism.

 

The Minister has published widely and attended several symposia, seminars and conferences.

 

EALA has 45 elected Members and seven Ex-Officio Members.   The Ex-Officio Members are the Ministers of EAC in the Partner States, the EAC Secretary General and the Counsel to the Community.  The United Republic of Tanzania is the current Chair of the Council of Ministers, a post that Hon Dr. Mwakyembe assumes immediately.

Source: EAC Press

Published in International

21ST PARTNERSHIP FUND STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING HELD IN ARUSHA

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 5 November, 2014:  The 21st Partnership Fund Steering Committee Meeting was held yesterday at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. The meeting was attended by Developemnt Partners contributing to the EAC Partnership Fund. The EAC Partnership Fund is a basket fund mechanism with annual contributions from Development Partners (DPs) aimed at supporting the EAC projects and programmes that are geared towards regional integration. Norway is the current Chair of the Partnersghip Fund. In this context, the meeting was chaired by Ms. Elisabeth Schwabe-Hansen the Counsellor-Political Affairs at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Addressing the Development Partners, the Secretary General of the East African Community Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera disclosed that in June this year, the East African Legislative Assembly approved the EAC budget for financial year 2014/15 of USD 124,069,625. This budget consists of USD 73,180,446 from the Development Partners and USD 50,889,179 from the Partner States.

 He said the funds from the Development Partners will be used to implement the EAC priorities for FY 2014/15, which include; Operationalization of the Single Customs Territory; Implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol; Implementation of the roadmap towards the establishment of EAMU; Development of Infrastructure, Tripartite, EAC Industrialization Policy and Strategy; EAC Food Security Action Plan and Climate Change Master Plan; Sensitization of East Africans; Peace and Security; Political Federation and Revitalization of LVFO.

 The Secretary General noted that the Community was making good progress on the integration agenda which is greatly supported by the Partnership Fund and applauded the Development Partners for the continued contributions.

 "Since its inception the Fund has now contributed over USD 41 Million to this great agenda. However, much still needs to be done as we move into an era of Single Customs Territory, Implementation of the EAMU Protocol and Institutional Strengthening of EAC to deliver on its agenda" asserted the EAC official, adding that "I still count on the valuable support of the Development Partners and specifically the Partnership Fund which is a very special vehicle for EAC in terms of coordination of Development Partner support".

 The 21st Partnership Fund Steering Committee Meeting considered, among others, the proposed priorities and disbursements for FY 2015/16, and the Partnership Fund Internal and External Audit and Annual Reports for FY 2013/14.

Published in International

East African Legislative Assembly, Arusha, Tanzania; January 28, 2015: The Assembly this afternoon moved to adjourn debate on the Report of the Committee on Accounts on the EAC’s audited accounts for the Financial Year ending 30th June 2013.

 

The report tabled last week by the Chair of the Accounts Committee, Hon Jeremie Ngendakumana, is now expected to be debated at the next Sitting in Bujumbura, Burundi.  This follows a motion for adjournment of the ensuing debate moved by the Chair of the Council of Ministers, Hon Dr Abdalla Sadaala Abdalla.

 

The move is to allow for the Council of Ministers time to delve deeper into the report, undertake investigation and deep interrogation.   The Minister added that the Council would like to take time to analyse and to verify some of the findings so as to give the Assembly more effective answers at its next Sitting.

 

The Committee’s findings pose serious and deep-rooted matters that necessitate serious consideration by the Council. Some of the findings go to the root of the state of affairs of the EAC as a cherished engine of integration”, the Minister said.

 

The motion for adjournment of the debate is further pegged on the basis of Rule 31( c) of the Rules of Procedure governing the Assembly which provides that a motion for adjournment may be moved without notice.

 

Hon Dr. Sadaala lauded the Accounts Committee for tabling the report and remarked that the Committee had acted within the parametres of its responsibilities as provided for under its Rules of Procedure and added that this was part of the obligations of the Assembly as provided for under Article 49 of the EAC Treaty.  


The Minister however noted that the report in its entirety, did not capture the responses of the EAC management.

 

Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform this House that the Council and the Secretary General did meet the Committee to respond to the queries raised in the Audit Report”, Hon Saadala said.  “It is unfortunate that our (Council) and management’s responses are not well reflected in the report of the Committee’, he added.

 

During debate, Hon Mike Sebalu challenged the Council of Ministers in future to engage much earlier and in time so that effective responses are given in time.  “I hope this will not be a common practice”, he said.

Hon Abubakar Zein Abubakar told the Council to critically look into the matters contained in the report.

 

“There should be a timeframe attached to Council’s request” he said. Hon Mumbi Ngaru Hon Kimbisa and Hon Dr Nderakindo Kessy urged the Council to speedily address the contents therein.

 

Hon Susan Nakawuki and Hon Saoli Ole Nkanae however opposed the motion citing the need to address the matters raised in the report urgently.

 Source: EAC Press

Published in International

EAC ELECTION OBSERVATION MISSION TO THE 2016 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA

 

LAUNCH STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY ALI HASSAN MWINYI, RETIRED PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA AND HEAD OF THE EAC ELECTION OBSERVATION MISSION

 


Your Excellency Dr. Richard SEZIBERA - Secretary General of the East African Community;

 

Honorable Minister of EAC Affairs of the Republic of Uganda;

 

Honorable Members of the East African Legislative Assembly;

 

Experts from the Partner States;

 

Participants from Civil Society;

 

Staff from the EAC Secretariat;

 

Stakeholders from the press;

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Secretary General, let me to join you and your staff in mourning the sudden demise of Ms Isabelle Waffubwa, who had been a visible feature in the promotion of Democratic processes in the region. May her soul rest in eternal peace.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

It is my honour and pleasure to announce to the people of the Republic of Uganda about the arrival of the East African Community (EAC) Election Observation Mission (EOM) to 18 February 2016 general elections in the Republic of Uganda. The Mission is in the country following the invitation by the Government of the Republic of Uganda and in fulfillment of the relevant provisions of the Treaty. It comprises 50 short-term observers drawn from the East African Legislative Assembly, national Human Rights Commissions, Electoral Management Bodies, Civil Society, EAC Youth Ambassadors and Officers from EAC Secretariat.

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

The EAC Election Observation Mission arrived in Kampala on 7 February 2016 and will remain in the country until 21 February 2016. It was preceded by a team of election experts from the EAC Partner States who arrived on 30 January 2016. The Mission will observe the concluding stages of the campaign process and engage with various stakeholders as well as observe the voting and counting processes on 18 February 2016.

 

In its assessment of the electoral process, I would like to highlight that the EAC Election Observation Mission will be guided by the democratic principles and values outlined in the African Charter for Democracy, Elections and Governance and the EAC Principles for Election Observation and Evaluation. To this end, the assessment of the electoral process in the Republic of Uganda will be carried out in an impartial and objective manner, informed by the principles and guidelines stipulated in the aforementioned standards as well as the legal framework governing the conduct of elections in the country.

 

Ladies and gentlemen

 

On this day, we are deploying a total of of seventeen teams of EAC observers in the various regions of Uganda to assess the level of preparedness of the elections as well as the polling process.  The Mission will issue a statement of its preliminary findings of the elections on 20 February 2016 through a press conference. Subsequently, the EAC will release a final and comprehensive report through its policy organs after the end of the electoral process in the Republic of Uganda.

 

Distinguished Colleagues from the Press

 

I would like to inform you that there is a Spokesperson for the Head of Election Observer Mission - Dr. Abdullah Makame who is a Personal Assistant to me. He will be responsible with the press related issues, kindly cooperate with him during the entire process.

 

Ladies and gentlemen

 

May I take this opportunity to wish the citizens of Uganda success in choosing their future leaders through this important democratic exercise.

 

Long Live Uganda!

 

Long Live The East African Community.

 

Thank you very much for your attention

Source: EAC Press

Published in Shout

REGIONAL LEGISLATORS PUSH FOR DISASTER PREPAREDNESS IN LIGHT OF CLIMATE CHANGE

.....House adopts Report on Regional Parliamentarians Policy Workshop on Climate Change and Gender

 

East African Legislative Assembly, Kampala, August 27 2015: A key policy report on Climate change and gender is calling on Partner States to promote pro-active approaches through adequate preparedness and appropriate strategies in light of climate change.

 

The Report which follows a regional Parliamentary workshop held in Burundian Capital, Bujumbura in March 2015 was this afternoon debated and approved by EALA.  The Report was presented by the Chairperson of the Agriculture, Tourism and Natural Resources Committee, Hon Christophe Bazivamo.

The Report says that approaches such as early warning systems and modalities for flood and drought management need to be inculcated.  Closely related to this aspect is the need for the Partner States and the East African Community to advocate for strong institutional and governance structures.

In addition, the Assembly is of the view that the Secretariat invests in climate/disaster focused research and tools Participatory Capacity and Vulnerability Analysis (PCVA) to boost the preparedness of the region.

The objectives of the workshop was to create awareness amongst Members of EALA on the critical cross-cutting subjects of climate change and gender; and to consider existing international and regional policies, strategies and regulatory instruments and frameworks on climate change and gender. At the same time, the workshop sought to identify the role of Parliamentarians in implementation of Gender Sensitive Climate Change Policies and Practical measures.

 

In the past, EALA has passed several environmental Bills including Transboundary Ecosystems Management Bill (2010), the EAC Polythene Material Control Bill, 2014. The EAC Disaster Risk Reduction and management Control Bill (2014) is under consultation.  Work has also commenced on the EAC Climate Change Bill and a Climate Change Fund.

During debate today, Hon Abdullah Mwinyi called for demarcation of specific areas for cattle keepers so that enough fodder is realized and sustainability is realised. 

We need a recommendation to that effect from the report such that it adds to the dimension of Climate Change and Gender.  "Farmers are predominantly women while cattle keepers are pre-dominantly men", he said.  "There is need for a region-wide policy to deal with any imminent clashes that may arise", he added.

Hon Mumbi Ngaru said natural and man-made events both contribute to Climate Change.  "We have the Disaster Risk Reduction Bill pending before the House. It needs to brought forth immediately by the Council of Ministers", she said.

Hon Susan Nakawuki lauded the city Council of Arusha for greening the City by planting more trees.  We should all borrow from the successes of the City.

 

She called on the Partner States to ensure the EAC Climate Change Fund received funding.

 

Hon Valerie Nyirahabineza said the Assembly could champion the importance of the Climate Change Fund.  "As an Assembly, we can support the Fund in a symbolic manner", she said.

 

Hon Dora Byamukama, Hon Dr. Odette Nyiramilimo and Hon Sarah Bonaya also supported the Report.

-ENDS-

Source: EAC Press

Published in Shout

OFFICE OF THE FACILITATOR OF THE INTER-BURUNDI DIALOGUE

 

PRESS RELEASE

Press Release on the Resumption of the Inter-Burundi Dialogue, Arusha, Tanzania, May 21, 2016: The Inter-Burundi Dialogue resumed today at the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) in Arusha, Tanzania under the leadership of H.E. Benjamin Mkapa, the Facilitator of the process.

 

The Inter-Burundi Dialogue is being attended by various stakeholders including Former Heads of State, the National Commission for Inter-Burundi Dialogue (CNDI), all Political Parties registered in Burundi, Civil Society Organizations, Faith-based Groups, prominent Political Actors inside and outside Burundi, as well as Women and Youth groups.

 

The Dialogue is also being attended by representatives of the Diplomatic Community in Tanzania; UN Security Council; African Union, EAC Partner State Governments, and; the EAC Secretariat.

 

The 4-day Inter-Burundi Dialogue will include closed door consultation sessions between the Facilitator and the diverse stakeholders.

 

Opening the Dialogue, President Mkapa urged all the Parties to the conflict to renounce violence and seek a peaceful solution to the conflict.

 

"We are all aware that this is a Burundi problem and it can be solved only by the Barundi themselves. My role is only to facilitate the Barundi to dialogue and reach an amicable solution. My plan in this endeavour is to give ample time and space to all stakeholders to express their views on the way forward," said the facilitator.

 

President Mkapa hailed the support to the process by United Nations, the African Union and the international community which support he added had ensured the smooth running of the Inter-Burundi Dialogue.

 

He urged all stakeholders to support the process so that Burundi returns to normalcy and peace.

 

He urged the people of Burundi to embrace a democratic culture as they have done over the past 10 years in addition to strengthening democracy in the country.

 

Speaking at the function, EAC Secretary Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko said it was the Community's hope that the process would bring all Burundians to a common understanding that will result in peace, democracy and prosperity in the country.

 

In his remarks, Amb. Jamal Benomaar, representing UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, said that only a genuine and inclusive dialogue could enable Burundian stakeholders to find a way of the current crisis facing the country.

 

Amb. Benomaar reaffirmed the UN Security Council's full support to the EAC-led mediation effort under the leadership of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

 

Addressing the delegates, AU Representative Amb. Ibrahima Fall noted that Burundi had witnessed a cycle of peace and violence, adding that the dialogue was an opportunity for the country to put an end to the cycle.

 

Amb. Roeland Van de Geer, on behalf of the Diplomatic Community in Tanzania, said peace in Burundi was important not just for the East African region but the world as a whole.

 From: EAC PRESS

Published in Shout

MEMBERS HAIL CHAIR OF EAC SUMMIT FOR DELIVERING CONCISE STATE OF EAC ADDRESS

East African Legislative Assembly, Arusha, Tanzania: May 25, 2016: The Assembly late yesterday debated and hailed the Chairperson of the EAC Summit of Heads of State for the concise exposition of the EAC policy contained in the State of the EAC Address delivered to EALA at the March Session.

 

At debate, Hon Shyrose Bhanji termed the speech as enlightening and said it had laid ground on a number of important matters in the integration agenda.  The Speech cited the implementation of the Customs Union as key but added that a number of agencies should be able to issue the certificate of origin so that accessibility is realised. 

 

 Hon Abubakar Zein reiterated that it was necessary for the region to contain corruption and remove bad governance in order to realise progress of the EAC.  Hon Mike Sebalu termed disasters as a matter that the region must collectively address. 

 

"There is no soveregnity when it comes to matters concerning disasters", he said.  Hon Mumbi Ngaru on her part termed sensitization as fundamental and said there was need for more adequate funding, a sentiment that was echoed by Hon Bernard Mulengani and Hon Frederic Ngenzebuhoro as well.   On her part, Hon Judith Pareno said that East Africans continued to face a number of challenges at the borders citing frequent stops by the authorities while Hon Dora Byamukama called for closer working relations between the Private Sector under the East African Business Council and the Assembly.

 

The Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania, Rt Hon. Majaliwa, Kassim Majaliwa delivered the State of EAC Address on behalf of the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, and Chair of the Summit of EAC Heads of State, H.E. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, at the commencement of the 5th Meeting of the 4th Session of the 3rd Assembly in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on March 8th, 2016.

The Speech, gave a score-card on a number of areas related to the pillars of integration.

 

The Speech highlighted the adoption of the use of One Stop Business Posts (OSBPs) as a trade facilitation concept to minimize delays at the border posts and on the major corridors in the region. The House was informed that out of the 15 borders earmarked to operate as OSBPs, 7 had been completed and 4 others were operating as OSBPs using bilateral agreements.

 

The Prime Minister remarked that intra-EAC Trade was expected to register phenomenal increase in the next few years."Trade is now at 23%, over and above intra-African Trade figure of 12%. "There has been a 300% increase in the value of trade from 2 Billion USD in 2005 to 6 Billion USD in 2014," Rt. Hon Majaliwa told the House in March.

 

"These numbers coupled with the combined GDP of 110.3 Billion makes our region a formidable trading bloc", he added.The Chair of the EAC Heads of State Summit urged the region to push for total removal of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs). "We all admit that we have done well in eliminating tariff related barriers, we must resolve to do away with the remaining ones," the Chairperson of the EAC Summit of Heads of State added, citing the examples of removal of various roadblocks in the region.

 

On Infrastructure, it was stated that Partner States were actively engaged in the Standard Gauge Railway with Republic of Kenya having completed coverage of about 200 km out of 472 km of formation as of September last year.

 

On the Common Market, the EAC Chair of Summit gave an account of achievements realized in the Partner States to date. He remarked that Republic of Burundi now recognizes the academic qualifications, experiences obtained, licenses and certifications obtained for the workers from other EAC Partner States.

 

The United Republic of Tanzania on its part, has issued a total of 3,222 simplified Certificates of Origin were issued as at June 2015 as compared to 2,355 certificates issued in 2014. In Kenya, the Prime Minister said development of an SMS based NTBs Reporting System to facilitate reporting and subsequent elimination of NTBs had been initiated.

 

The Republic of Rwanda, according to the Chair of the Summit, had eliminated all Non-Tariff Barriers and further harmonized demographic and social statistics for undertaking agricultural surveys and census. All the initiatives he added, were geared towards enhancing the Common Market Protocol. In Uganda, the value of goods from other Partner States accorded zero-tariff treatment grew by 9% while 360 EAC standards on traded goods had been adopted and were in application.

 

Yesterday, Hon Martin Ngoga remarked that while the policy statements made were positive, there was a mismatch with the bureaucrats in the Partner States paying less attention to implementation of the policy statements.

 

Hon Bernard Mulengani, Hon Christophe Bazivamo, Hon Patricia Hajabakiga, Hon Nancy Abisai and Hon Valerie Nyirahabineza also rose in support of the motion. Others were Hon Abdullah Mwinyi, Hon Chris Opoka, Hon Ussi Maryam, Hon Mukasa Mbidde and Hon Dr James Ndahiro.

 

The State of EAC Address is delivered annually to the EALA by the Chairperson of the EAC Heads of State. The State of EAC Address sets the momentum and impetus for the integration process by reflecting on general policies that relate to the Community's progress while outlining the strategic challenges which require attention.

 

The novelty of the State of EAC Address dates back to the year 2008 when H.E. President Yoweri Museveni made the first inaugural Address to EALA in Arusha.

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