The East African Community (EAC) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will see the two bodies jointly working together to resolve conflicts in the region.
The MoU was signed between the EAC Secretary General, Juma Mwapachu and ICGLR Executive Secretary, Liberata Mulamula, on behalf of their respective organizations.
Through the MoU, the two parties committed to promote democracy and good governance; support measures aimed at prevention of sexual violence against women and children and; promote measures aimed at improving protection of human rights and the environment, among others.
“It is one way of harmonizing our activities and assuring our partners that there is no duplication but rather reinforcement” said Mulamula.
Mwapachu described the MoU as timely for an East African region “seeing a lot of new hope for peace, security, stability and democracy” and coming off a year of peaceful conclusion of election exercises in four of the five EAC Partner States.
Presidential elections were, this year, conducted in Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania, while Kenyans elected their new constitution.
He said that it was always important that EAC and ICGLR develop a close organisation-to-organisation relationship.
“With the MoU we are providing a framework for our cooperation,” the EAC Secretary General asserted.
Mulamula invited EAC to partner with her body’s initiative to harmonise member states’ policies on food security and extended an invitation to the East African bloc for a special summit to focus on mineral resources management and certification that is due to take place in Lusaka, Zambia on 15 December 2010.
Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia form ICGLR’s membership.