Enough of hushing. It is but necessary that you understand your body and it’s requirements in entirety. How do you expect to be happy and healthy without that knowledge? Let’s talk about sex.
Whatever the reason driving your libido, the benefits of some netflix and chill is universal and surprisingly (or not) so essential. Besides ‘the love hormone’ oxytocin la-di-da (it’s called ‘making love,’ isn’t it?) and enhancing your bond with your partner (let’s just make that very big assumption), let’s see what else a little (or a lot of) action can contribute to your well-being.
1. Sex reduces stress and anxiety.
The hippocampus is the part of your brain responsible for memory, learning, and emotion. Stress is an emotion, which means that your hippocampus must be switched on when your tired soul wishes to combat stress. According to a study, sexual activity stimulates new cell growth in the hippocampus. This empowers your brain (with a truckload of cheerful ammunition) to deal with stress, resulting in a happier, stress-free you.
By increasing the duration of sexual activity, the initial (mild) anxiety that sex brings with it is reduced as well. Another study also implicates the benefits of sex in regulating blood pressure and, hence, stress.
This just means you’ll have a better day at the office, a more-restful sleep at night, and an ‘I don’t care’ attitude when your dog chews the remote control.
2. Sex reduces pain.
Intercourse can be fun ,that itself will probably help you forget about that arthritic knee or bruised shoulder. But the analgesic effects of intercourse are much more than just ‘fun.’
If you’ve had a surgery or watched the TV show House, you are well versed with the term morphine. For those of you who aren’t, it is a painkiller. Our bodies endogenously produce morphine-like painkillers called endorphines.
They increase your pain threshold by decreasing your sensitivity to pain. Sexual intercourse increases oxytocin levels (the love hormone) which allows for the release of endorphins. It is probably the body’s way of ensuring that sexual stimulation remains enjoyable and doesn’t become aversive. Well, it’s a win-win for you! More endorphins translates to ‘Pain?
3.Sex decreases cardiovascular risks.
A research group proved that the frequency of orgasms is inversely proportional to mortality. Too much to comprehend? A 1,000 middle-aged men were tracked for ten whole years. Those who had more sex led longer lives–a whopping 50% increased mortality. They also had a stronger heart as observed by their reduced risks of coronary diseases. Sexual activity, thus, protects your cardiovascular health (jump into the sack at least 2 to 3 times a week). It’s all a matter of the heart after all!
4. Sex increases fertility.
For those of you thinking of filling up the soccer team bus with your DNA (read: having babies)
this is great news. Yes, it is but obvious, the more sex you have, the higher your chances of conception (very basic math). But there is actually more to it than mere probability.
Sperm quality is reduced when its DNA is damaged. According to an Australian study, sex (to the point of ejaculation) every day for a week improved sperm quality by reducing sperm DNA damage. 81% men exhibited a 12% decrease in sperm DNA damage. Less damaged, more robust sperms naturally improve the chances of conception (increased fertility for both the Mr. and the Mrs.). It is, thus, advised that couples trying to have a baby indulge in the good ol’ houghmagandy daily in the week leading up to ovulation.
5.Sex boosts immunity.
Immunoglubilin A (IgA) is the most prevalent antibody (read: defence cell) that is produced in mucosal linings throughout our body. More IgA means a stronger immunity. Also, salivary IgA has been proved to be directly proportional to vaginal IgA (Will tell you why this random piece of information in a bit).
According to a study involving 112 college students, individuals who engaged in sexual activity once or twice a week exhibited higher salivary IgA levels than individuals who had no sex or too much sex (more than twice a week).6 Besides an overall strengthened immunity (you’ll fall less sick and can go on those countless dates you have lined up) more salivary IgA means more IgA in the vaginal mucosa as well. This lowers the susceptibility to sexually transmitted diseases. (Now do you see the connection?)
After brewing a big cup of tea, the first thing almost all of us do is, a hunt for a trash bin to get rid of that soggy tea bag. “Yeah! a good deed was done”, wrong!
Surprisingly, old tea bags can be used in multiple ways. It is similar to your granny’s advice – might sound weird, but definitely effective when used. They are mentioned below.
1.Revitalises Puffy Tired Eyes
All of us have those nights when we are too engrossed in completing the series, and the result is zombie-like puffy eyes the next day. Tannins in black tea can energise your eyes, and also help in removing that extra baggage under your eyes.
Store used tea bags in an airtight jar, and keep in a fridge. Grab your instant cool “Eye-Lifters” whenever you have those lazy mornings.
2.Fixes Minor Burns
Tannins in tea bags soothe inflammation caused by heat, you can use your refrigerated tea bag to get relief from minor burns as well. It helps in reducing inflammation, and is an effective remedy for minor burns.
Do not worry if instead of getting a nice tan on the beach, you sun-burnt your back. A tea bag can be highly effective in getting rid of the itchiness as well as flaky skin. The acid present in black tea possesses soothing properties, that help in getting rid of the excess heat due to sunburn. So, next time pack a tea bag along with your sunscreen while going to the beach.
Get rid of warts by placing a green tea bag on the affected area. You can secure it by wrapping a bandage on top of the tea bag. Antioxidants present in green tea, prevents warts from growing bigger. Replace the old tea bag with a new one after every 15 minutes.
5.Helps Get Rid Of Dandruff
Dandruff is one stubborn issue that almost all of us face at some point in time. If you are done with spending money on expensive products, here is a simple solution – rinse your hair with tea. Steep your favorite tea for an hour before rinsing. A daily scalp massage with tea not only removes dandruff but also adds shine to your hair.
6. Freshens Your Stinky Shoes
Stinky shoes are a matter of deep embarrassment, especially when you are far away from the comfort of your own home. You can freshen your smelly shoes by placing a tea bag in each shoe. It absorbs moisture and wards off the stink.
7.Shoos Off Odour From Hands
Wash your hands with tea bags to get rid of onion and garlic smell. It is effective in getting rid of odours to some extent.
8.Avoids Sore Gums
Spoiler alert – you will end up looking funny! But who cares if it works. Place tea bags in your mouth to reduce swelling and blood clot.
9. Gets Rid Of Watermarks On Mirror
Nobody likes any kind of distraction in the middle of self-admiration, right? Get rid of those water marks on your bathroom mirror by wiping it with a cloth soaked in brewed tea bags.
10.Helps Cleanse The Dishes
We all understand the struggle of removing grime from the dishes. Here is an easy solution, soak your dirty dishes with tea bags for overnight. You will thank yourself the next day as they are much easier to clean now.
11.Acts As A Manure For Your Garden
Impress your buddies by this impressive re-use of tea bags. Tannins in the tea lower the pH levels of the soil. Lesser the pH level, fewer chances of fungus accumulation at the base of plants. Place the tea bag in the soil around the plant and enjoy the beautiful blossoms.
Most of us want to get things done easily without any pain or sorrow. Whenever we hit a stumbling block, we get disappointed and tend to fail in life. But you will succeed if you persevere taking pain in right sense. Pain has its own merits. Once you realize the miraculous change a pain can bring in your life, you will never long for the easy path.
1.Boosts Your Confidence
Success earned the hard way is the sweetest. You tend to measure and value your achievements by the number of obstacles you have to overcome to reach a goal. Pain boosts your confidence for the future and teaches to appreciate your work.
The first visit to a gym is never easy. You have endure pain to build a stronger body. And how satisying it is when you like what you see in the mirror! As you invest more time and pain into achieving a goal, you will feel more committed and driven to do your best.
2.Teaches You Life Lessons
Pain is an experience that teaches you how to overcome obstacles in life and move ahead. It equips you to be a better person who does not succumb to tough times. Without having any hurdles to overcome, you will be a man of no experience.
Exam failures, broken relationships, and never-ending job hunts are inevitable experiences that are painful. They may delay our heart’s desires, but in the long run they help us learn to value what really matters. They provide you with ammunition you to face the next challenge. Every failure will, thus, leave a lesson for you and make you stronger.
3. Creates Fond Memories
The pain of today may be a cherished memory tomorrow. Recollecting these memories will make you a stronger person and act as a catalyst for all your future ventures. The painstaking effort you put into achieving a goal will always remain a loving memory for you.
This is best explained by the pain a mother undergoes during labor. There will be no difference of opinion among mothers when it comes to the pain associated with childbirth. However, they will also be unanimous in the joy they experienced when they heard their baby’s first cry. It is timeless.
4. Strengthens Your Memory
You can’t help but wish for things to be easier. It is but natural to think that lessons learnt without stress are easier to learn. But you are wrong. Researchers at Princeton and Indiana University found that students find it easier to retain ideas that are printed in a font that is difficult to read. The students were forced to concentrate on learning the material, more than usual, which helped them recall it effortlessly much later.
Similarly, lessons learned the hard way are the most remembered. For instance, when your business partnership shatters, you learn what went wrong and won’t repeat your mistake the next time around. Pain is short-lived, but the hard-earned lessons survive a lifetime.
It is impossible to have a pain-free life. Whenever pain comes your way, don’t panic. Embrace it and focus on the takeaway. You will emerge as a changed, more confident individual.
East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Friday, 28th October 2016: The Secretary General of the East African Community, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko yesterday paid a courtesy call on His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, in State House, Entebbe, Uganda.
The Secretary General briefed the President on various integration matters including progress on consolidation of Customs Union, Common Market, Monetary Union, and Political Federation. The Secretary General also updated the President on the progress and roadmap on the integration of the new Partner State; South Sudan into the Community’s projects and programmes.
On his part, the President commended the EAC Secretariat and the Partner States for fast-tracking the joining of the Republic of South Sudan into the Community, which he emphasized, was a great gain in the integration agenda. He noted that this has enlarged the region’s political and economic space.
H.E Yoweri Museveni urged the Secretary General to fasten the process of Political Federation, adding that his dream was to see a United Africa and not only East Africa.
President Museveni, who is the Mediator of the Inter-Burundi Dialogue, informed Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko that it was important and necessary to engage all stakeholders in the dialogue that is geared towards attaining lasting peace in Burundi. He emphasized that there was need for peace in Burundi for the country to participate and benefit fully in the regional integration process.
Uganda’s Minister of State for EAC Affairs, Hon. Julius Wandera Maganda, accompanied the Secretary General to meet the President.
From the 2nd to the 4th of November 2016, the French Embassy to Tanzania, in cooperation with the East African Community (EAC), and with the support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, is organising a regional seminar on "East African Community: Exchanging and Trading with the Francophone World" at the EAC headquarters in Arusha.
This seminar was launched on the morning of Wednesday the 2nd of November by H.E. Mrs Malika Berak, Ambassador of France to Tanzania and H.E. Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko, EAC Secretary General.
The aim of this seminar is to raise awareness on the added value of multilingualism and, more specifically, of knowing French for trade and exchanges at regional, continental and international levels.
As stated by the Ambassador of France to Tanzania during the opening, "French is a language spoken in East Africa, a "neighbourhood" language, a language of business. [...] Multilingualism is a major asset to be promoted to the youth. [...] Cross border activities are very important within the EAC as well as with its neighbouring countries. The development of these activities includes the ability to share one or several regional languages and the ability to speak one of the continental languages."
During his opening speech, the Secretary General of the EAC underlined the following message "We as a regional body need to (...) therefore to be open to different languages as we expand in addition to the current languages recognised by the Treaty, that is, English and Kiswahili. The 15th Ordinary Summit of EAC Heads of States requested the EAC Secretariat to look into the possibility of including French as a working language of the Community. In addition to this, a recent assessment by the European Union also recommended that EAC should develop modalities of including the use of French especially when advertising for tenders within the region to provide for the Francophone Partners States."
This seminar unites representatives of the EAC and of the French Embassies in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania, the EAC business council Director General, Lilian Awinja, as well as representatives of the African Union Commission and of the International Organisation for Francophonie. In addition, academics from different universities of the region (University of Nairobi, Makarere University, Open University of Tanzania, University of Burundi...) are also present. The Head of the Education Cooperation unit, Mrs. Odile Cobacho, is representing the French MFA. On the economic side, multiple companies are contributing to the round tables and the discussions, more specifically on tourism and hospitality.
This regional seminar ends on November 4th. All participants will return get back to their respective countries with relevant tools and advocacy material to contribute to the promotion of multilingualism and of the French language within EAC and the African Union.
East African Community, Nairobi, 2nd November, 2016: The 1st International High Level Multi-Stakeholders Conference on Promoting Pharmaceutical Sector Investments in the East Africa opened today at the Laico Regency Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya.
The three-day conference brings together key stakeholders from EAC Partner States including Ministries of Health, Finance and Industry, National Medicines Regulatory Agencies (NMRAs), National Procurement Agencies (NMPAs), AU-NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the private sector (local and international pharmaceutical manufacturers) as well as international development partners and investors among others.
The overall objective of the conference is to develop a common and shared vision for promoting investments in the regional pharmaceutical manufacturing sector.
In her speech read by Mr. Barrack Ndegwa, the Integration Secretary, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for East African Community Integration, Labour and Social Protection, Hon. Phyllis Kandie described the pharmaceutical sector is a critical area of cooperation in health matters within the EAC.
Hon. Kandie said the conference was therefore significant as it provides a platform for stakeholders to have a conversation among the policy makers, industry players, the civil society, as well as social and development partners on how to deepen cooperation in the sector.
She disclosed to the conference that in 2014, the pharmaceutical market of the EAC was valued at US$1.9 billion, adding that it was forecast to grow at a compound annual rate of 8.3% to reach US$4.2bilion in 2024. However, Kenya, which is the leading pharmaceutical producer in the region, with approximately 50% production and rising exports, supplies just 25% of the Kenyan market.
The CS added that Tanzania supplies a declining share of its own domestic medicines market, down from 35% in 2009 to less than 10%-20% today.
The Cabinet Secretary informed the participants that despite these developments, the Pharmaceutical manufacturers operating from within the EAC region generally produce at a cost disadvantage to larger generic product manufacturers internationally due to a variety of reasons including scale, expensive asset base coupled with older technology, higher financing costs plus a lack of integration with active pharmaceutical ingredients suppliers.
"This situation makes domestically manufactured medicines uncompetitive compared to imports and the regional pharmaceutical market is therefore dominated by imports with domestic manufacturers only meeting less than 30% of the medicines demand."
She called for the Development Partners and other stakeholders to support the growth of the sector by engaging and addressing the concerns of the domestic pharmaceutical manufacturers and potential investors.
On her part, Hon. Josiane Nijimbere, Burundi's Minister of Public Health and the Fight Against AIDS, said medicines have become a very important and powerful tool, now more than ever, in improving the health status of populations and, in the long term, for reducing healthcare costs and ensuring sustainable development through health working human resource.
''I am therefore delighted that the East African Community has decided to hold this conference in collaboration with our Development Partners here present and those who have not been able to make it, raise awareness of various stakeholders on the need to promote investment in pharmaceutical manufacturing.''
She underscored the importance of the health sector for the citizens of East Africa as the EAC integration agenda aims at improving sharply standard of living the East African Citizenry.
"To this effect, the development of the pharmaceutical sector and investments is equally critical if we want to achieve the objectives of the Community."
The EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Hon. Christopher Bazivamo said that poor performance of the EAC health sector has contributed to shortage of essential medical products and health technologies, which could be produced within the region by EAC industrial sector.
"About 75% of the EAC pharmaceutical market demand is met through importation of medical products and health technologies while 25% is covered by domestic pharmaceutical production," said Hon Bazivamo.
He urged Partner States to consider implementing incentive packages to promote domestic pharmaceutical production in the region which includes; a uniform preferential margin of 20% for all regionally produced medicines and medical devices in public tenders according to Article 35 of the Common Market Protocol; removal of duties for imported raw and packing materials, pharmaceutical manufacturing related equipment as well as spare parts for the equipment's acquired by domestic manufacturers registered in the EAC; and classification and import restrictions for finished pharmaceutical products that can be produced within the region, based on regional capacity and quality audits of local manufacturers.
The High Level Mult-Stakeholders Conference on Promoting Pharmaceutical Sector Investments conference provides an opportunity and a platform for stakeholders to discuss and agree on strategic areas and policy incentive packages that promote EAC domestic pharmaceutical manufacturers and foster dialogue between policy makers, regulators and pharmaceutical manufacturers.
The Conference is being organized by EAC Secretariat in collaboration with the EAC Partner States and Development Partners.
East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 3rd November, 2016: The International Organization for Migration (IOM) will continue working closely with the East African Community (EAC) to address issues of migration within East Africa.
IOM's Regional Director for East and the Horn of Africa, Mr. Jeffrey Labovitz, said that the collapse of commodity prices on the world market and inflation had badly affected economies in East Africa and neighbouring countries, adding that this coupled with ongoing conflict would necessitate migration within the region.
Mr. Labovitz said poorly performing economies would mean people having problems in accessing farming implements and inputs which in turn contribute to low agricultural yields.
Mr. Labovitz noted that EAC Partner States had been quite generous and humane in hosting refugees from neighbouring countries riven with conflict. The IOM official singled out the Ugandan model of refugee management whereby refugees are integrated into local communities and given land to farm rather than being put into refugee camps.
He said the United Republic of Tanzania, which hosts many refugee camps, was keen on learning from Uganda on how to handle refugees and urged other African countries to follow suit.
Mr. Labovitz was speaking when paid a courtesy call on the EAC Secretary General, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko, at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
In response, Amb. Mfumukeko thanked IOM for its close cooperation with the EAC on matters of migration and refugees, adding that refugees need food, medical assistance and educational facilities for their children.
The Secretary General said that the Ugandan model of integrating refugees into host communities was good because it enabled refugees to stabilize and continue with their lives as they wait for normalcy to return to their countries of origin.
Some of the critical migration challenges facing the EAC include: the free movement of persons and labour; internally displaced persons, and; forced migration. The EAC has been working with IOM to address the free movement of persons and labour and in the collection of migration data.
During the function, Mr. Labovitz was accompanied by the IOM Chief of Mission in Tanzania, Dr. Qasim Sufi and the Head of Programmes at IOM Tanzania, Ms. Tamara Keating. Amb. Mfumukeko was flanked by the Director of Social Sectors, Ms. Mary Makoffu, and the Labour and Employment Officer, Mr. Stephen Niyonzima.
East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 31st October, 2016: East African Community Partner States have been challenged to benchmark themselves with the world's most advanced economies if they are to grow their economies.
Hon. Amanya Mushega, a former EAC Secretary General, said the EAC needs to revisit and do away with the standard way of judging itself by Sub-Saharan African standards. "India, Singapore and South Africa, just to mention but a few refused to treat themselves that way. They aimed high, looked at the way the USA, Japan, Germany, UK and the USSR developed their human resources, copied them with the view to competing with them and not fellow third world countries and the results are out," said Hon. Mushega.
"Our problem of remaining poor and beggars is not lack money or natural resources, it is our mindset. We have put the bar too low. We are not going to be competing with Gambia or Haiti but with Korea, Japan and China, first for our own EAC market and secondly, for the world market," he added.
Hon. Mushega called for heavy investment by the Partner States in human resource development, and urged the Community to compare the number and quality of local skills with those countries that have prospered rather than the comfort zone of Sub-Saharan Africa.
"For EAC to develop, exploit its resources, build industries, not cutting and wrapping imported products for it to build and maintain roads, railways, airports and dams, compete in local and world markets, it must put maximum efforts on the quality of education and skills of its population. Don't say but we are ok. We are not. The EAC is not yet our market," said the retired diplomat.
Hon. Mushega was giving a keynote address titled The Hidden Challenges to Integration and the Way Forward during the opening of the two-day EAC-EU-IMF Conference on Regional Integration in Arusha, Tanzania. The theme of the conference is "Regional Integration in the EAC: Making the most of the Common Market n the Road to a Monetary Union."
Speaking at the forum, Mr. Abebe Aemro Selassie, disclosed that at six (6) per cent, real GDP growth in the EAC in 2016 was expected to be well above the average for Sub-Saharan Africa, adding that prospects for 2017/18 also remain strong.
Mr. Selassie said that the challenge for the EAC as for other fast growing countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa was how to sustain this growth over the medium term, how to ensure that scaled-up public investment and borrowing translates into durable growth and not unserviceable debt, and how make this growth more inclusive.
"Faster economic growth within the EAC is therefore a potential "game changer" as it holds the promise of improved productivity, competitiveness and welfare gains," said the IMF official.
He noted that while significant progress had been made since the inception of the EAC Customs Union and the Common Market including the establishment of a Single Customs Territory with a Common External Tariff and effective elimination of internal tariffs for goods meeting Rules of Origin – there is still work to be done.
"Customs valuation procedures have also varied across the region, despite the approval of the EAC Customs Valuation Manual," he observed.
In her remarks, Hon. Jesca Eriyo, the EAC Deputy Secretary General (Finance and Administration), said that the Community had made significant progress in the areas of trade, financial and macroeconomic integration as well as building institutions necessary to support the integration process.
"The integration process is benefiting the East African people through increased trade, efficiency and productivity and enhanced financial integration. The recently established Single Customs Territory continues to deliver significant benefits to East Africans, including reduced transit times from port to destinations and fewer documentary requirements," said Hon. Eriyo.
Hon. Eriyo revealed that financial integration in the EAC was deepening and that free movement of labour was becoming a reality, partly aided by the Mutual Recognition Agreements among professional associations including those for architects, accountants and veterinary officers.
She said that to ensure macroeconomic convergence ahead of the monetary union, convergence criteria pertaining to inflation, foreign exchange reserves, fiscal deficits and public debt would have to be achieved and observed.
"The purpose of the convergence process is to ensure that countries enter the monetary union without major disequilibria that could threaten its stability. However, convergence is not an automatic process. The experience of the Euro area shows that a set of mechanisms involving institutions and the use of incentives and corrective procedures to deal with deviations from pre-determined paths, have been needed to achieve convergence and keep union members aligned," said the DSG.
The conference is being attended by international economists, leading policy makers from the region, ministers of finance, central bank governors, and senior treasure/finance officials, regional capital markets regulators, academics, senior staff from international financial institutions, senior representatives from other monetary unions and civil society organizations, and private sector leaders from the region.
East African Legislative Assembly, Geneva, Switzerland: 27 October, 2016: EALA Speaker, Rt Hon Daniel Fred Kidega wants global Parliamentarians and Parliaments to take the lead in reversing the ever-increasing human rights abuses in the society. He says legislators must rise up to the occasion, accept responsibility and diligently play their roles to avoid been roundly condemned for doing too little or nothing, in stopping such abuses.
The remarks are contained in a speech delivered on behalf of the EALA Speaker by Member, Hon Taslima Twaha, yesterday at the 135th Meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union currently underway in Geneva, Switzerland.
The theme of this year's Assembly is "Human Rights Abuses as Precursors of Conflict: Parliament as Early Responders". Over 700 delegates and about 30 Speakers are in attendance at the congress.
The EALA Speaker told the meeting of the strong interdependence between human rights violations and intractable conflicts and warned of its disproportionate impact to women and children, especially the girl child. He stated that lack of free, fair and credible elections remained a catalyst in the long run, leading to instability, conflicts and therefore human rights abuses. The Speech cited Parliaments as first responders in resolving the violations and called for passage and enactment of relevant pieces of legislation, enhanced budgets and better oversight on matters of human rights abuses.
EALA has passed two key related pieces of legislation the EAC Conflict Management Act, 2012 and the EAC Human and Peoples Rights Bill, 2011. "The enforcement of regional and national legislation is absolutely fundamental", Hon Taslima added.
The legislator said the region had not been spared and it remains prone to conflicts that affect the citizens of the EAC as in other parts of the globe. This is despite efforts by the founders of the EAC towards underscoring human rights and democracy at inception of the EAC.
"The unrests in some Partner States are still a big challenge to the Community today leading to cases of human rights abuses. The region and specifically, the Republics of Kenya and Uganda have also borne the effects of the Al-Shabaab, with hundreds of lives lost to terrorism and property damaged", he said.
"Internationally, the Syrian Crisis in Aleppo is getting to very alarming heights. Documented cases of human rights abuses have been brought to the fore", the legislator added.
The 135th Meeting of the IPU commenced on Monday this week. In attendance are delegations of legislators from the globe. The EAC region is well represented. They include, Speakers from Kenya (Senate), Rt Hon Ekwe Ethuro, Parliament of South Sudan, Rt. Hon Anthony Lino Makana and Rt Hon Rebecca Kadaga of the Parliament of Uganda. The delegation of the Parliament of Rwanda is led by the Vice President of the Senate, Hon Harerimana Fatou while the 2nd Vice President of the Burundi National Assembly, Hon Edouard Nduwimana leads a team from Bujumbura.
Meanwhile, the Inter-Parliamentary Union's (IPU) 135th Assembly is urging all relevant parties to bring an end to Syrian war. They also called today for the immediate, unimpeded and permanent humanitarian and medical access to the civilian population in Syria in order to ensure that supplies reach over 550,000 people in besieged areas, deprived from almost all humanitarian aid.
In an emergency resolution adopted by consensus, the IPU urged parties to the conflict to reinstate the ceasefire agreement of September 2016 and to ensure the security and freedom of movement of humanitarian personnel.
Acknowledging that over 11 million people have lost their homes in Syria, 6.5 million of whom are internally displaced, and that 4.8 million have had to flee abroad since the outbreak of hostilities, MPs addressed the war and the severe humanitarian situation in Syria, particularly in Aleppo.
In other news, Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda, Rt Hon Rebecca Kadaga, was elected Chair of the African Geo-Political Group. Africa's Geo-Political Group consists of 50 Parliaments from the Continent. Each geopolitical group plays an important role in the functioning of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Each group decides on its own working methods that best suit its participation in the activities of the Union, its composition and its Rules of Procedure.
On other related matters, a new study released by the IPU reveals that harassment and violence against women MPs are global problems that impede gender equality and undermine the foundations of democracy. IPU's study is based on in-depth interviews with 55 women MPs from 39 countries covering five regions of the world. It shows troubling level of psychological, sexual and physical violence.
The study reports that 81.8 per cent of survey participants have experienced some form of psychological violence. Among them, some 44 per cent said they had received threats of death, rape, beatings or abduction during their parliamentary terms, including threats to kidnap or kill their children.
"This is a survey of a small percentage of women MPs, but it makes clear that the problem is much more widespread and under-reported than we realize. The Parliamentary community must speak out against sexism and harassment and make clear that it cannot be tolerated as the price to be paid for women's political involvement," a statement by IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong said in part.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the global organization of national Parliaments. It works to safeguard peace and drives positive democratic change through political dialogue and concrete action. To that end, IPU fosters contacts, co-ordination, and the exchange of experience among Parliaments and Parliamentarians of all countries. IPU also contributes to the defence and promotion of human rights - an essential factor of Parliamentary democracy and development. EALA is an Associate Member of the IPU.
East African Community, Kampala, Uganda, 28 October, 2016: The second EAC Common Market Scorecard (CMS) 2016 which evaluates implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol was launched in Kampala, Uganda by the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Finance and Administration, Hon. Jesca Eriyo. The Scorecard 2016, which measures Partner States' compliance to the free movement of capital, services, and goods, was developed by the World Bank Group together with Trade Mark East Africa at the request of the EAC Secretariat.
The Scorecard was developed over a period of 18 months under the supervision of the EAC Secretariat and Partner States. The areas of capital, services and goods were selected for scoping as they are fundamental to the operations of the Common Market.
Addressing the participants at the launching, the EAC Deputy Secretary General stated that "a number of reforms have been undertaken since the 2014 CMS. These have brought the total number of non-conforming measures (NCMs) down from 63 in 2014 to 59 in 2016.'' While this shows progress it should be noted that all EAC Partner States remain largely non-compliant in their services trade liberalization commitments, added Hon. Jesca Eriyo.
Hon Eriyo disclosed to the participants that In CMS 2016 all Partner States were given full marks for compliance. Subsequent scorecards should consider assessing implementation of these commitments.The Deputy Secretary General informed the participants that the Scorecard is well aligned with the EAC's implementation priorities. "It fosters peer learning and facilitate the adoption of best practice in the region".
"The Scorecard will contribute to strengthen the regional market, grow the private sector and deliver benefits to consumers," stated Hon. Eriyo.
She said the implementation in terms of recognition of certificates of origin, an issue repeatedly identified as a significant non-tariff barrier (NTB) in 2014, Burundi continues to earn full points and Kenya continues to score 90 percent. Tanzania's recognition of certificates of origin has improved from 50 to 60 percent; Rwanda and Uganda's scores have both declined, indicating a worsening performance in terms of recognizing certificates of origin of other EAC Partner States. Most countries improved their score on applying tariff equivalent charges, though such charges persist as barriers to intra-EAC trade, stated the EAC official.
Hon Jesca Eriyo disclosed to the participants that the EAC average of resolution of new NTBs for the 2016 period was about 54 percent, better than the 38 percent rate for CMS 2014. The EAC Deputy Secretary General called for greater information sharing regarding the Treaty and Protocol provisions in the Partner States. Some members of the private sector, including private sector apex bodies, were unfamiliar with the Protocol or with the commitments affecting their operations. Hon Eriyo urged Partner States to strongly engage and inform the private sector on the implications on these reforms on their day-to-day operations across the region and develop a private sector reform champions who could help push for implementation.
Catherine Masinde, the Practice Manager, East Africa, Trade and Competitiveness, World Bank Group, said, EAC Partners have done a commendable effort in removing barriers to free movement of capital, services and goods, but more needs to be done
She said the EAC Scorecard provides transparent, rigorous, unbiased and client-led data on the key implementation gaps to the integration of the region's economies. It also highlights possible reform areas to improve compliance to the Common Market Protocol".
On his part Vice Chairman of East African Business Council Uganda, Kassim Omary, said it is of atmost importance to measure the extent to which the EAC Parter States are translating the Common Market Protocol into policies that support actualization of free movement of people and workers, goods, services and the rights of establishment and residence within the EAC Partner States
Mr Richard Kamajugo, Senior Director of Trade Mark East Africa in-charge of Trade and Environment, said that the TMEA Program of support to the Common Market Scorecard has been running from 2012 to march 2017,under the EAC Investment Climate Programe. He said the total budget support to the program was $ 10.4m, through IFC and EAC (technical support), under a 5 component program aimed at increasing inter and intra-regional trade and investment through investment climate reforms supporting the EAC Common Market.