There were quite a number of interesting reactions to a story we ran August 7, 2013 titled “EALA divided over proposal to restrict sessions to Arusha” that should keep the East African Legislative Assembly burning the midnight candle.
Some sections of the regional lawmakers want to do away with the assembly’s rotational sittings in member countries citing economic reasons. Others want to maintain the status quo in the name of strengthening and sensitising people about regional integration.
The subject matter is embarrassing, to say the least; why should the venue of the assembly give lawmakers sleepless nights when – as some readers aptly pointed out – they could end the bickering and go hi-tech.
In this ICT age, there are no reasons why people have to spend thousands just to sit with those they share the same responsibilities, hold endless and sometimes unproductive debates, and plan for the next session in another country that is not even keen on regional integration.
If lawmakers could just harness the powers of ICT, hooked up an office in their home countries with video conferencing facilities, it will not only save the community money, but time would also be on their side.
It is time they stopped dwelling too much on what divides them and instead focus on strengthening the regional charter.
Technology is beckoning, all they need is to heed its call and grab it by the horns.