The Minister of East African Community (EAC) Affairs, Monique Mukaruliza, has urged the EAC Secretariat to put in place a forum to discuss the issue of identification cards in the bloc.
Mukaruliza made the remarks in a meeting with the EAC Secretary General, Dr. Richard Sezibera at her offices, yesterday.
She also urged the EAC Secretariat to challenge the Council of Ministers on implementation deadlocks of some projects and programmes, citing issues that have taken too long to be sorted out like the Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) and the single tourist visa.
“It is you [the Secretariat] who should bring out those areas where there are deadlocks to the attention of the Council... with appropriate recommendations,” asserted the Minister.
Rwanda and Kenya are the only EAC Partner States that issue national identity cards.
Mukaruliza said that as part of the process to implement the EAC Common Market Protocol, there was an urgent need for those countries that had agreed on the use of IDs to meet and agree on the modalities.
The Minister reiterated that it would be a positive development if ordinary citizens start to use their national IDs to move across the region as part of the implementation of the EAC Common Market that was launched in July last year.
Sezibera was accompanied by the Deputy Secretary General (Finance and Administration), Dr. Julius Tangus Rotich, the Director of Infrastructure, Philip Wambugu and the Head of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs, Owora Richard Othieno.