KIGALI - A 60-person delegation of members of the Ugandan civil society on Thursday arrived in the country for a three-day study tour aimed at, among others, “promoting the spirit of comradeship in the region”.
The visitors, who all come from the Ugandan District of Mayuge, in the eastern part of the country, included teachers, students, local leaders, and other professionals.
They said that they chose Rwanda owing to her inspirational leadership practices like, zero tolerance to corruption and gender balance in administration.
The delegation also hopes to learn more how Rwanda, as a new member in the East African Community, has been able to actively implement most of the EAC protocols, like free movement of labour and removal of non-tariff barriers, compared to other members.
Receiving the delegates, the Minister for EAC Affairs, Monique Mukaruliza, noted that despite the achievements registered in the process, so far, all member countries should put more efforts in order to register more success in the integration process,
“We have gone a long way in the integration, through implementing some of the protocols, like eliminating non-tariff barriers and labour mobility,” the minister told her visitors.
“However, as East Africans, we have to all strive towards having in place the monetary union, and ultimately political federation”.
A member of the delegation, Ramathan Mugaya, expressed concern on irregularity in the rate of development among EAC member countries which discourages others.
“Rwanda is developing in an almost isolated situation and this might become disastrous if other members do not keep at par. East Africans should interact, copy some aspects and learn from one another so that one country doesn’t lag behind and frustrate active ones like Rwanda.” Mugaya said.
Another member of the delegation, Margaret Tibenda, underscored that more efforts were needed to promote the region’s official languages to facilitate easy communication across the bloc.
“For example, in Uganda, only the children in school can learn Kiswahili. There should be more efforts to expand the language to even those that are not in school,” she advised.
The delegation plans to hold talks with other leaders in the country, including the Mayor of Kigali and the Speaker of Parliament.