Kadaga called on EALA members to look beyond their national shoulders and to fully focus on its regional agenda.
PIC: Members of the East African Legislative Assemby after induction in Kampala
EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY | LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY INDUCTION
KAMPALA - The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) sitting got underway in Kampala on Monday with an induction process for its new members.
Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda, Rebecca Kadaga opened the week-long induction exercise.
Kadaga reiterated the need to sensitise citizens of the region and in the same vein hailed the principle of rotation which the regional assembly embraces.
She also emphasised the need for full autonomy of the regional assembly.
“One of the causes of the collapse of the previous EAC (1967-1977), was the low level of involvement of stakeholders in their activities. As legislators, through our collective action, we must direct our efforts towards a unified and empowered East African Community,” Kadaga said.
“Autonomy for EALA is vital and the Parliament of Uganda is so keen to see it fully operationalised,” Kadaga, who is also Kamuli Woman MP, added.
She called on EALA members to look beyond their national shoulders and to fully focus on its regional agenda.
“I, therefore, urge the assembly to remain committed to the integration process. We need to look beyond nationalism to a regional mindset. Consensus and meeting of minds is key as you legislate, provide oversight and appropriate budget for the region,” Kadaga noted.
Uganda’s representatives to EALA are; Christopher Okumu Opoka, Susan Nakawuki, Mukasa Mbidde, Dennis Namara, Mary Mugyenyi, Steven Odong, Paul Musamali, Mathias Kasamba and Rose Akole).
EALA Speaker, Martin Ngoga said that the induction programme presented an opportunity for members to build capacities on regional integration matters as they commence on the journey of the 4th Assembly.
Ngonga hailed Kadaga and his predecessors, Abdirahin Abdi and Daniel Kidega, who were in attendance for their steadfast support to EALA.
“It is important to add here that the assembly has come of age and rightfully so – effectively taking its place in the integration process. Again, I owe it to my predecessors who have left behind a solid foundation,” Ngonga noted.
He said the assembly which is the fourth since its establishment in 2001 was keen to take the mantle to the next level.
“This is what it means with continuity and facilitating growth. The critical mass we need to solidify our integration process is manifestly growing,” Ngonga noted.
The induction process was addressed by the director at the Centre for Regional Integration, Dr Wanyama Masinde, who delivered a paper on understanding regional integration while the counsel to the community talked about the salient features of the Treaty annexes.
Former EALA speakers, Abdirahin Abdi and Daniel Kidega, as well as the former principal legislative draftsman of the community, Lawrence Kamugisha, shared their thoughts with EALA.
The induction process undertaken whenever a new assembly is installed, is geared at bringing the members to speed on matters of integration, as well as on parliamentary procedures.