KIGALI - Delegates from the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) on Friday met in Kigali to discuss the current state of the youth in all member states and how they can join hands to seek solutions to their challenges and formulate best strategies to improve their welfare.
Citing unemployment as the common challenge among the youth in East Africa, the delegates exchanged ideas on how they can empower them with practical entrepreneurial and employability skills, as well as establishing sustainable microfinance institutions that will provide startup capital to the youth.
Speaking to the delegates, the Minster of Youth, Protais Mitali, commended regional states for their recognition and support of the EAC Youth Network.
“The government of Rwanda is in full support of the development of the youth across the East Africa region and I am pleased that EALA members are seeking to address key concerns touching the youth’s development,” Mitali said.
Mitali said that the Common Market Protocol had opened up significant opportunities for the youth, notably with regards trade and free movement of labor, which will enable them seize benefits by being able to find employment in any of the five states subscribing to the bloc.
“The responsibility of shaping the future of the community rests on shoulders of the youth, because they comprise majority of the region’s citizenry and therefore, have a greater stake in the affairs of East Africa,” he added.
Sebtuu Mohammed Nassor the Chairperson of EALA General Purpose Committee, told delegates that it was necessary to include the youth in the social development agenda especially at this time when the region is preparing to launch the implementation of the Common Market Protocol.
“The EAC Treaty explicitly recognizes that in order for the region to develop as a harmonious community, youth participation must be encouraged,” Mohammed Nassor said.