ARUSHA - Senate President Dr Vincent Biruta has challenged parliaments in the region to keep a progress score-card in the integration process.
Biruta made the remarks during a visit to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) in Arusha, Tanzania, on Thursday, where he met with the Assembly’s Speaker Abdirahin Abdi.
“It is important for us as parliaments to know where we are at and where we are going if the integration dispensation is to be strengthened,” Biruta said.
The Senate President reiterated his country’s commitment to the integration process
He commended the work of the EAC Secretariat, observing that national parliaments “have a big role to play in pushing for the implementation of decisions” made at the regional level.
Biruta also welcomed various initiatives the regional bloc has embarked on to enhance cooperation, such as coordination of foreign policy, which has resulted in partner States taking a common position on international matters of mutual concern.
He specifically noted that the partner states’ cooperation in defence matters was “helping to remove psychological barriers” in the drive towards deeper integration.
On his part, Abdi emphasised that national assemblies have a fundamental role to play in ensuring the integration process remains on track.
The talks between the two dwelt on the need for peace and political stability in the region as a precursor to the socio-economic development in the region that would ultimately lead to a political federation.
Biruta later visited the EAC Secretariat headquarters where he met with the Deputy Secretary General in charge of Finance and Administration Julius Rotich.