Pooling of strengths vital for integration – Hon Kandie
The Chair of the Council of Ministers, Hon Phyllis C. Kandie, has reiterated the need to collectively pool strengths together if the Community is to remain relevant in the fiercely globalized world. The Chair maintained that such a move may necessitate occasions where Partner States cede part of their sovereignty and place the same on trusted regional institutions.
In her maiden speech to the August House this afternoon, Hon Kandie, the Cabinet Secretary for East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism in the Republic of Kenya, undertook to address as a priority, existing challenges and sensitivities involved in the implementation of the pillars of integration.
She remarked that as the region enters the Monetary Union and proceeds towards the Political Federation, moments of anxiety may occasionally be realized, leading to slower pace of implementation.
“The success or failure of EAC Integration is therefore going to be our collective responsibility”, Hon Kandie remarked.
The Cabinet Secretary hailed EALA and noted that it continued to be a unique mechanism through which the Community could maximize on the complementarities between the EAC Organs and institutions. She maintained that it was necessary for the Council and Assembly to collaborate further in order to smoothen the legislative process.
‘There is no doubt that one of the greatest challenges to implementation of the directives, decisions, Protocols and EALA Acts is the slow pace at which Partner States are moving towards the review, amendments and harmonization of national laws to conform to those of the Community”, the Cabinet Secretary stated.
“I do appreciate that for the Assembly to effectively engage in the process, we have to continuously review and strengthen the working relations between the Assembly and the Council, not just at the regional level, but also through the co-ordination of EALA activities at the country levels”, she added.
On the Single Customs Territory, the Chair urged the Assembly to support the Framework for the Operationalisation and a Roadmap on the Implementation of the Single Customs Territory whose commencement became effective on January 1st, 2014. At the last Summit of Heads of State, the EAC leaders directed that the Roadmap be fully operationalised by 30th June 2014.
On the Monetary Union, the Cabinet Secretary implored EALA to actively engage relevant national constituencies with a view to ensuring the ratification of the Protocol by 1st July 2014. This level of support Hon Kandie reiterated was vital for the strengthening of the integration process.
“I challenge you to actively engage in the implementation of these directives. In addition, I will be counting on you to support the on-going consultations on the revised model of the EAC Political Federation” the Chair of Council stated.
The Roadmap and Action Plan of the Political Federation is due for consideration when the Summit convenes in April 2014.
Hon Kandie took over as the Chair of the Council of Ministers from Hon Shem Bageine, Minister for EAC, Republic of Uganda on November, 30th, 2013.
Download: Statement by Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers – 4th Meeting – 2nd Session – 3rd Assembly