Thursday, 6 June 2013

Champion integration, Museveni tells EALA


Speaker Zziwa (L) introduces EALA legislators to President Museveni in Kigali.
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has called on members of East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) to intensify sensitisation of East Africans on benefits of political and economic integration. 
Museveni was yesterday addressing the sixth meeting of the first session of the East African Legislative Assembly sitting in Kampala in his capacity as Chairperson of the EAC Heads of State Summit. 
“You have done your job well as stipulated in the EAC Treaty but you also have to be prophets of the economic and political integration,” he told the assembly. 
Citing the recently held Japan-Africa summit, the President told the legislators that it is now Africa’s time to rise and shine given that the Asian bloc has expressed deep interest in investing on the continent. 
“This is the time to move on economic integration because the goodwill is there. We have both internal and external markets for our goods and everything is in line now,” he said.
Structural inequalities
He cautioned Africans against ideological disorientation, saying it is what led to Africa’s colonialisation by European countries that were much small in size and wealth. 
EALA Speaker Margret Zziwa underscored the urgency of East Africa tackling structural inequalities that hamper integration like the existing non-tariff barriers.  
She said that there is need to establish a modern viable railway system to link the people of East Africa and asked EAC Heads of State to establish a railway fund. 
“The efforts are not yet adequate and solely banking on private sector may not stem the desired pace,” the EALA Speaker said. 
“That is why I call on you as Chair of the Summit to Institute a fund for all EAC partner states to kick-start the venture since the master plans are already in place.  We are ready to enact required legislation.” 
Uganda’s Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga also challenged the legislators to lead efforts in enlightening East Africans about integration.


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