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EAC Council of ministers concludes 31st meeting

By Vision Reporter

Added 3rd May 2015 07:11 PM

The 31st Meeting of the Council of Ministers concluded Friday in Arusha, Tanzania.

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The 31st Meeting of the Council of Ministers concluded Friday in Arusha, Tanzania.

By Vision Reporter

The 31st Meeting of the Council of Ministers concluded Friday in Arusha, Tanzania.

In accordance with the EAC Rules of Procedure, the Council was chaired by Harrison Mwakyembe, Minister of East African Cooperation of The United Republic of Tanzania, and Nanziri B. Fatuma, Senior State Attorney, Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Uganda was the Rapporteur.
 
Harmonization of Higher Education Systems

The 31st Meeting of the Council of Ministers, among others, considered progress report on Harmonization of Higher Education Systems as presented by Pro. Mayunga Nkunya, the Executive Secretary of the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA). 
 
The Council approved the East African Qualifications Framework for Higher Education.

As instruments for the harmonization of higher education systems in the EAC, the IUCEA developed an East African Qualifications Framework for Higher Education as an important tool for harmonization of higher education and training systems and the qualifications attained in the Community, which would contribute towards facilitating mutual recognition of qualifications among the Partner States as provided for in the Common Market Protocol thus transforming EAC into a common higher education area.
 
IUCEA developed benchmarks for harmonization of academic curricula of different programmes offered in the region; benchmarks for Business Studies already having been forwarded to the national commissions/councils for higher education in the Partner States for implementation.
 
It has also developed a regional quality assurance policy framework for further guiding harmonization of quality assurance practices in higher education in the Community.
 
In order to address the concern on graduate employability in the Community, IUCEA has carried out a study to establish the various types of higher education programmes and models existing in the region and the qualifications awarded, and the extent to which they contribute in graduate, and also the gaps that exist on the developed skills and competences.
 
Among the findings, the study established that less than 50% of the graduates are considered by employers not to be suitable for the job market, due to among others, inadequate analytical and soft skills required to transform academic knowledge into practice in the job market. The results from the study were then used to guide the development of the East African Qualifications Framework for Higher Education.
 
Ministerial Sub-Committee

The Council established a Sub-Committee of Ministers Responsible for EAC Affairs to consider the Concept Note, TORs, and Roadmap for constitutional making process and determine the Model Structure of the East African Political Federation and report to the Council at its 32nd Meeting.

The same Sub-Committee was tasked to consider the EAC Institutional Review Report, conclude the exercise and report to the Council at its 32nd Meeting. 
 
Protocol on Privileges and Immunities

The Council signed the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities of the EAC and directed Partner States to deposit the instrument of ratification with the Secretary General by November 2015.The objective of the Protocol is to standardize the status, privileges and immunities to be accorded by the Partner States to assets and properties of the Community wherever situated in the Partner states and persons employed in the service of the Community.
 
Appointment of staff

The Council appointed staff for the newly established Institutions of the Community. Prof. Kenneth Inyani Simala (Kenya) was appointed the Executive Secretary of East African Kiswahili Commission (EAKC); Getrude Ngabirano (Uganda) the Executive Secretary of the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTC); Eng. Saidi Kibeya (Burundi) Deputy Executive Secretary (EASTC); Prof. Gibson Kibiki (Tanzania) Executive Secretary for East African Health and Research Commission; and his Deputy Jean De Dieu Ngirabega (Rwanda), with effect from 1st May 2015.
 
Postponement of meetings

The Council directed that the Partner State(s) that will not attend the Sectoral Council Meetings should give a seven (7) days’ notice in event that they are unable to participate in the Meeting. In the event that a 7 days’ notice is not given and Partner States are already at the venue of the meeting, the meeting shall proceed with deliberations and the outcome of the meeting and decision reached shall bind the absent Partner State. The Secretariat was directed to report on the absenteeism of Partner States from Sectoral Councils and Council Meetings, to the Council for consideration.
 
The Council directed the Secretary General to officially communicate to Partner States indicating challenges faced due to postponements of meetings such as costs and delays in implementation of projects and programmes of the Community, and the Secretariat to convene Quarterly Ministerial Sessions for Ministers responsible for EAC Affairs to deliberate on the challenges for the frequency of postponement EAC Meetings with a view to come up with strategies to address those challenges.
 
The Council of Ministers is the Community’s policy – making organ and is charged with, among others the responsibility of keeping under constant review the progress of implementation of the programmes and activities of the Community.
 

EAC Council of ministers concludes 31st meeting

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