Phiona Umwiza, the Miss Rwanda 2020 1st runner-up has her eyes set on becoming a member of the parliament at the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) despite her young age. The 21-year-old is among 36 Rwandan youth running for a spot to represent Rwandan youth in EALA ahead of elections slated for Monday, December 5, at Rwanda Revenue Authority Hall. Umwiza told The New Times that becoming a parliamentarian has always been her dream since she was young but her age remained a big challenge whenever she thought of running for a seat in the parliament. “When I tried to run for a seat, I saw myself fulfilling all the requirements except age. I had to wait until I turned 21. When an opportunity came this time round, I said to myself ‘why not! Let me grab it’,” she said in an interview. I contested for Miss Rwanda and I did well, just like I did in Miss University Africa and I feel it’s time to jump on this opportunity as well because I have always been dedicated to serve the youth,” she added. Members of EALA are elected for a five-year term, renewable once; which means that some Rwandan EALA members stand a chance for re-election. The 4th EALA Assembly - the current one - started in 2017 and its term will end on December 17, 2022, after which the 5th EALA Assembly will begin. The Assembly members are drawn from EAC Partner States - currently seven, namely Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (newest to the bloc). Each Partner State will have nine members in the Assembly.