EU Ambassador calls on EALA speaker…rallies support for the integration process
ARUSHA, Tanzania, February 16, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ – East African Legislative Assembly, Arusha, Tanzania, February 16, 2012: EALA Speaker, Rt. Abdirahin Abdi today met with the European Union (EU) Ambassador and Head of delegation to the United Republic of Tanzania and the East African Community, His Excellency, Ambassador Filberto Ceriani Sebregondi in the Speaker’s Chamber.
In the deliberations, the Speaker reiterated the need for the region to fully embrace the Common Market Protocol to enable the citizens of the region reap the benefits. He said integration was an all inclusive process that called for stakeholders’ participation. Rt Hon Abdi enthused the Partner States to build confidence in the integration process and to create avenues and a conducive environment for the regions citizens to look for opportunities.
‘All of us, be we politicians, technocrats, media or business people should contribute to building the economic bloc and enable citizens to move freely to look for opportunities across the region’, Rt. Hon Speaker said.
The EALA Speaker presented to Ambassador Sebregondi an overview of the activities of EALA since inception. He noted that EALA had enacted over 40 pieces of legislation and that the Assembly was keen to ensure all pending Bills are passed prior to the end of its tenure in June this year. Rt. Hon Abdi remarked that beyond legislation, the Assembly was also mandated to consider annual reports of the activities of the Community, approve the budget of the Community, undertake oversight of the activities of the Community as well as a representative role.
The Speaker said the Assembly intends to devise a monitoring mechanism to assess the level of compliance of the Community to the decisions passed by the Council of Ministers. This aspect, the Speaker remarked, was vital in order to keep abreast with the progress of the economic bloc.
The courtesy call on the EALA Speaker by Ambasador Sebregondi was the second official function at the EAC. It followed the meeting with the EAC Secretary General Amb. Dr Richard Sezibera, earlier on today, where he presented his credentials. The Ambassador was accompanied by Mr. Tom Vens, Head of Politics, Press and Information at the EU in Tanzania and Mr. Maciej Golubiewski, EU’s International Relations Officer in charge of the Horn of Africa, East Africa and the Indian Ocean. In attendance were the EALA Deputy Clerk, Mr. Alex Obatre and Senior Public Relations Officer, Bobi Odiko.
The EU Head of delegation affirmed the EU’s support for the EAC noting that the region had realized various successes. He said the EU had continued to support EAC through the Regional Integration Support Programme (RISP) initiative and was keenly following up on the economic bloc’s progress. Ambassador Sebrogondi pledged to consult more regularly with the Assembly in future so as to strengthen the collaboration.
Ambassador Filiberto Ceriani Sebregondi who was appointed the Head of the EU Delegation to Tanzania in December 2011 presented his Letters of Credence to President Jakaya M. Kikwete on January 10th 2012.
His mandate covers overall representation of the EU and leading Member States on EU matters; political dialogue with Tanzania and EAC authorities; management of development assistance; trade relations; and public diplomacy with the host country. He previously served in Brussels, Belgium as EU’s Head of Division in the Africa Department of the European External Action Service and was responsible for political, economic and development relations with 16 West African countries. He has also served as Head of delegation for the EU in Ghana with additional regional responsibility in Togo.
East African Community (EAC)