Posted by: africanpressorganization | 13 July 2011

EAC to scale up cooperation in political affairs



EAC to scale up cooperation in political affairs


ARUSHA, Tanzania, July 13, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A multi-sectoral Ministers’ meeting has recommended to the EAC Council of Ministers, the policy making body of the regional bloc, the creation of a specific sectoral council for political affairs, which will, among others, handle issues relating to good governance.


With the establishment of the proposed sectoral council, all agencies and ministries in Partner States that handle matters related to good governance and political affairs would have a recognized platform for consultation and decision-making at the regional level.


The recommendation of the meeting, held in Zanzibar last weekend, is to enable timely decision making relating to political affairs which would in turn boost the pace of the political integration of the East African Community. Ministers responsible for Good Governance, Ethics and Integrity, Foreign Affairs, EAC Affairs, Justice and Constitutional Affairs attended the meeting.


The recommendation came in the wake of a passionate case made by the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Hon. Beatrice Kiraso for the region to give political issues “the attention they deserve”.


The Deputy Secretary General had expressed frustration at the lack of a central platform, noting that “the absence of a specific sectoral council on political affairs causes delayed consideration and adoption of recommendations made by different sectors”. A substantive sectoral council on political affairs would redress this status quo.


The meeting also recommended that the EAC Secretariat convenes a meeting of legal drafters and the technical experts to put final touches on the Draft EAC Protocol on Good Governance before it is presented to the EAC Council of Ministers in September for consideration. The draft will be presented to the Summit of Heads of State in November.


The draft Protocol is in line with the fundamental principles stipulated in the EAC Treaty under Article 6(d) which emphasizes good governance, including adherence to the rule of law, accountability, transparency, respect for human rights and equal opportunities and is expected to set and enforce regional standards to be upheld by EAC member countries.


The Isles Second Vice-President Ambassador Idd Ali Seif on behalf of the Zanzibar President Dr Ali Mohamed Shein opened the meeting.


Meanwhile, the First Vice-President Seif Shariff Hamad received the EAC ministers who paid a courtesy call on him and emphasized that through stronger relations, the region will prosper.


“We can strengthen our region if everybody plays his/her part,” he told the ministers.


H.E. Hamad added: “EAC is a club of neighbors, who have been together for years. You can’t choose your neighbors; we have to work together for a common destiny of a prosperous East Africa.”



East African Community (EAC)


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