KIGALI - Abdirahin Haithar Abdi, the Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) arrived in the country yesterday afternoon as Rwanda prepares to host the second meeting of the second session of the EALA.
Abdi arrived in Kigali in advance as he prepares to preside over the seating scheduled to start September 10 and conclude October 5 at Parliament buildings in Kimihurura.
“We [EALA] are holding a session in Kigali for the next two and a half weeks. There are quite a number of issues we’ll be looking at while here,” he told reporters shortly after being welcomed into Kigali International Airport’s VIP lounge by Vincent Biruta, the Senate President.
Abdi pointed out that EALA can seat in any partner state and that Rwanda was the first new partner state where the routine sessions were being held after joining the bloc last year.
President Paul Kagame is expected to preside over the official opening of the session on September 11.
Issues on the table include the bloc’s budget bill, the Lake Victoria Commission bill and food security concerns, among other things.
During their stay in Kigali, apart from holding plenary sessions, the lawmakers will also engage in other activities such as conducting field studies aimed at the country’s socio-economic and political makeover.
“It enables members of the EALA to interact with the members of the population in order to know their needs,” Abdi explained the essence of such undertakings.
They are also expected to participate in observing the parliamentary elections scheduled to start September 15.
The EALA being the Legislative arm of the bloc, is a sub organ of the larger EAC. It had its first sitting in Arusha, Tanzania on November 29, 2001, just a day after it had been founded.
The responsibilities of the Assembly include meeting with National Assemblies of member countries on matters relating to the bloc and debating, discussing and approving its budget, among others.