An eight member team of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) will at the end of this week conduct public hearings on the ongoing Common Market negotiations in Rwanda.
According to the Mr. Prudence Sebahizi, the chief negotiator for Rwanda on the Common Market, the hearings will commence on Sunday (21) in Rwamagana with a meeting of local and opinion leaders representing Civil Society Organizations and the general public.
“A brief presentation will be made about the status of the Common Market negotiations and people will be given a chance to respond. This will help us to know the views of the people and their expectations about the Common Market,” Sebahizi told The New Times.
Subsequently on Monday 22 December, the Common Market public hearing will take place in Kigali and EALA members will have dialogue with a cross –section of members of parliament, government institutions, private sector and academia. The public hearings will be conducted in both Kinyarwanda and English respectively.
Speaking to The New Times, Honorable Patricia Hajabakiga, a member of EALA who will lead the delegation from the different partner States to Rwanda, said that the activity aims at informing and involving the general public on the ongoing Common Market negotiations before they are concluded next year in April.
“The public will be given information about the content and provisions of the Common Market. We also want to hear from our people about what they want to be included in the Common Market draft protocol before the negotiations are finalized,” she added.
Meanwhile, the public hearings on the Common Market have also been scheduled for the other partner States of the EAC by members of the Assembly in smaller groups during the same period ending on 23 December.
At the end of the hearings, the Assembly will compile a joint report that will be submitted to the High Level Task Force negotiating the Common Market.
The public hearings will mark the end of the third meeting of the second session of the second East African Legislative Assembly that has been taking place in Kampala for the last two weeks.
EALA is the legislative arm of the EAC that currently comprises of 45 elected members, 9 from each partner State.