KIGALI - President Paul Kagame, yesterday, met with members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) and regional Ministers in charge of EAC Affairs, and held talks on how best regional integration can be expedited.
Addressing reporters after the meeting, EALA Speaker, Abdirahin Abdi, said that the meeting was mainly aimed at getting the President’s views on various aspects going on within the community.
“All things discussed were about where the community is today and where it should be tomorrow, and some of the deficiencies in terms of how to move the community (integration) faster,” Abdi said.
“The President noted that we have something we are building on and that we should not just look at the negative side but also look at the positives and build on them”.
Abdi said that President Kagame advised the delegation that they should be bold in mentioning where they think things are not moving properly and not pretend that nothing wrong is happening.
Highlighting some of the achievements of the bloc, the Speaker pointed out the common market and the customs union which are currently operational.
“The best thing is to see how East Africans can enjoy some of the benefits they are entitled to as members of the bloc,” he said.
EALA members are holding their fourth session in Kigali, and according to Abdi, they have also taken the opportunity to assess how much Rwandans know about the bloc as well as sensitize them about regional matters.
“The press has effectively covered the EALA, which is why more Rwandans know what is happening in the region,” Abdi said.
Meanwhile, the Minister for EAC affairs, Monique Mukaruliza, said that the just concluded extra-ordinary Council of Ministers discussed issues related to the financial and human resource matters.
“We had on our agenda, the re-allocation of EALA budget, and we also approved some guidelines on the appointment of heads of institutions and their deputies and talked about institutional review since we are reviewing EAC organs,” Mukaruliza said.