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East Africa Community (EAC) is Not in Constitutions of Member States

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by R.B, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. R.B

    R.B JF-Expert Member

    Aug 26, 2012
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    Arusha — THE five East African Community Member States have not yet adjusted their individual laws and policies to accommodate issues of the EAC integration.
    Students from the Higher Institutes of Education in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania, who have been participating in the First EAC University Students Debate on Regional Integration, have pointed out that the member states need to do a bit more if the ultimate goal of Political Federation was to be attained.
    They gave case examples of member countries' national constitutions none of which (with the exception of Kenya's new document) is giving provisions to the East African Community, which therefore means that the EAC was not officially recognized in laws of the land where it is supposed to exist.
    The students warned that the community existed without roots and survives simply as a mutual agreement, which meant it could be killed anytime and by anybody as long as there were no country laws that protected it.
    The two-day debate themed, "Understanding the Benefits and Challenges of Political Integration in East Africa", brought together at least 100 students from universities and other education institutions from across the EAC region to interrogate the motion that the benefits of political integration in East Africa.
    The debate, the first in the proposed series, was organized by the Arusha-based, EAC Secretariat in conjunction with the German Development Organization (GIZ).
    Earlier on, Ms Miriam Heidtmann, Programme Manager at the EAC-GIZ Programme commended the EAC Secretariat for organizing the event she said would give EAC students an opportunity to be heard. The East African students made cases for and against political integration, highlighting benefits such as widened markets for products, improved employment prospects, broader and shared resource bases and enhanced security.
    Mr James Muhindo, a student from Uganda described the road to political federation as one akin to giving life -- not without pain -- but ultimately leading to a beautiful thing. Students that stood to oppose the motion argued that while political integration was a good thing, there should be a measured and systematic process in achieving the EAC's political federation.
    "We are not against a political federation but all we are saying is that it shouldn't be rushed," said Mr James Tayebwa, a student from Uganda. "It's hard to discuss a political federation that is in the abstract, otherwise people may think that it is a monster that is out there to swallow them," Mr Gashegu Muramira, a Rwandan student said.
    They also urged the Partner States to implement various agreements previously signed, and that greater authority need to be ceded to the bloc's Organs and Institutions such as the Secretariat, the East African Court of Justice and the East African Legislative Assembly as building blocks to an empowered regional centre.
    Also present at the debate were observers from the Ministries responsible for East African Community affairs in the Partner States as well as university lecturers. The main objective of the debate was to promote a continuous dialogue among the youth and make them interested in advocating regional integration initiatives.