Bujumburu - The Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC) in charge of Political Federation, Beatrice Kiraso, yesterday said that member countries should embark on good governance, if the region is to develop.
She made the remarks while speaking at the national stakeholders’ consultative meeting in Burundi, where they discussed the draft EAC good governance protocol and bill of rights.
Kiraso highlighted that for the regional bloc to progress, member states have to prioritize good governance.
“Enhancing good political governance in EAC underlines the basis for sustainable development and is relevant to all the four stages of regional integration,” she said.
The four stages include; Customs Union, Common Market, Monetary Union and Political Federation.
Kiraso stated that the EAC integration was premised on the fundamental principles set out in Article 6 of the treaty establishing the EAC.
Under the article, EAC Partner States undertake to be guided by the principles of good governance, adherence to the principle of democracy and accountability as well as maintenance of universally accepted standards of human rights.
Sitta E.Ngissa, a regional political affairs programmes coordinator, said that the EAC development strategy 2006-2010 provides a framework on good governance adding that “differences in governance systems, practices and the democratic culture are some of the impediments to achieving political integration”.
He further highlighted the need to strengthen governance institutions in the region, adding that this will enhance political integration in the region.
“There is need to strengthen institutions of governance including Electoral Commissions, Human Rights Commissions, anti-corruption authorities, Law Reform Commissions, judiciary, law enforcement, as they are fundamental to the integration process,” he said.