The East African Community (EAC) has been advised to streamline issues of governance if it is to achieve a full political federation.
The call was made by the community’s Deputy Secretary General (Political Federation), Beatrice Kiraso while speaking at the opening of a two-day consultative meeting with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Bujumbura, Burundi last week.
“It is a process and not an event,” she said, adding that a firm foundation needed to be laid before the eventual establishment of the political federation.
The meetings are part of a series of consultations with various stakeholders that have been on-going where important stakeholders like the regional Chief Justices and Members of Parliament had an input.
She added that EAC has adopted a holistic integration approach where harmonisation of policies among the five partner states is taking place in all areas—economic, political and social.
Kiraso underscored the role of Civil Society Organizations in promoting good governance, adding that they have a very important role of providing for checks and balances to governance structures and institutions.
She also briefed the CSOs on the progress of integration process and gave an update on the negotiations for the EAC Common Market Protocol and the benefits that had accrued to the region from the Customs Union.
The Common Market is the second stage of the EAC integration process as stipulated in the EAC treaty followed by a Monetary Union, which is expected to be attained by 2012.
The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is expected to have substantive contribution towards the draft of the protocol.
The consultations are broad-based and include various stakeholders which will enable the EAC to come out with initial draft on Good Governance for discussions by partner states.
Experts will then be invited to harmonize all the contributions to develop the first draft.
Upon conclusion of consultations the Good Governance Framework will be signed by the Heads of State as an EAC Protocol.