KIGALI - Speakers of Parliament and Senate presidents from the Economic Community for the Great Lakes Region (CEPGL) will, today, start their annual meeting in Kigali.
CEPGL is made up of Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi.
According to the Parliament’s Public Relations and Communication department, the two-day meeting will discuss the group’s achievements, challenges and agree on the way forward with regard to future cooperation.
Top on the agenda are security and economic initiatives to ensure sustainable growth among the member countries.
“The meeting will jointly study the role of Parliamentary organs in enhancing security and economic development as they exhaust various measures in combating insurgence” read the statement.
The Minister of Defence, James Kabarebe, is expected to discuss the security situation in the region during the first session.
Poor financial contribution towards the sustainability of the bloc by some members is also set to be discussed by the legislators.
Other key issues to be discussed are the loopholes in the organization’s institutions like its Bank (BDGEL), the Agricultural Research Institute (IRAZ), and Great Lakes International Power Company (SINELAC).
Participants will include Senate president, Dr Vincent Biruta, Speaker Rose Mukantabana, Burundian Gabriel Ntisezerana (Senate president) and Pie Ntavyohanyuma (Speaker of Chamber of Deputies).
DRC’s delegation will be lead by Senate President Evariste Boshab and Leon Kengo wa Dondo (Speaker).
Also expected to attend is the Speaker of the Belgian parliament, Andre Flahaut, and former senate president, Armand Decker, who were invited as observers because of the Belgian support to the regional grouping.
Delegates will visit various areas including; Mutobo demobilization Centre, CEPGL headquarters in Rubavu, Rwanda- Burundian border of Nemba, Inyange Industries, and RDF economic activities in Bugesera District.