Africa We Want

EAC: Uganda wants stern laws against East Africa trade barriers

Uganda, one of the seven nations, wants the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) to lead the effort to lower trade obstacles. By Zephania Ubwani

The member of the seven-nation bloc wants the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) to spearhead the exercise.

“I urge Eala to pass laws that would drastically reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers,” said Thomas Tayebwa, the deputy Speaker of the Uganda Parliament.

He said during the visit to the National Assembly in Kampala by Eala Speaker Mr Joseph Ntakirutimana that such barriers have significantly impacted on trade.

Mr Tayebwa also called on Eala to come up with a resolution that would compel the council to impress upon their respective partner states to comply with the Summit directives.

One of these is a directive made in May 2016 that established the Common Higher Education Area under the EAC Common Market Protocol.

Earlier, Mr Ntakirutimana paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of the Uganda Parliament Ms Anita Among where he was told to fast-track laws that would enhance regional integration.

Eala, Ms Among argued, should fast-track laws “that will enhance the visibility of Eala in the EAC region as well as promote integration”.

She further noted, according to a dispatch to The Citizen, that once the relevant laws are passed by Eala, they should be forwarded to partner states’ parliaments for domestication.

She called on Eala, the legislative arm of the Community, to increase its visibility by carrying out sensitisation activities in the EAC region.

On his part, Mr Ntakirutimana, besides calling for harmony and tolerance among its members, decried the financial challenges affecting the regional Assembly.

He requested his counterpart to assist him in articulating the issue among other Speakers in the region “with the aim of harmonising the facilitation of members across the region”.

During another meeting with the Uganda officials, the Uganda First Deputy Prime Minister responsible for EAC Affairs Rebecca Kadaga pledged to engage the EAC Council of Ministers in resolving crises affecting the region.

One of them is a recent failure by Eala members, especially from the DR Congo chapter, to join other members from across the region for an induction programme in Kampala.

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Author: MANZI


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