The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has urged East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) lawmakers to reach out to the population and help them understand the regional co-operation efforts.
Kadaga was today opening a week-long induction programme for the newly elected members of the fourth EALA Assembly at Parliament. The legislators from six countries that currently make up the East African Community (EAC) are led by the EALA Speaker Martin Ngoga.
In her address, Kadaga cited the population being so far away from the integration process as one of the deficiencies of the Assembly. She appealed to the MPs to look out for the people with a view of bringing them close to the regional co-operation efforts.
Kadaga also asked the new EALA MPs to think beyond individual nationalistic interests and embrace a regional mindset.
While observing that the Fourth EALA has started six months late, she pointed out a few areas that the legislators can focus on to strengthen the process of integration.
She asked the new speaker of EALA Martin Ngoga to rush through the business that has piled up before them such that the Assembly can return to its normal schedule.
“We hope that we shall be moving closer to integration. We thank you for the 79 Bills so far passed. We want to ask you to be committed to the integration process. Consensus is key as you legislate for the region,” Kadaga told the new EALA MPs.
Kadaga stated that the Assembly should consolidate on the progress made on the Common Market Protocol and the Monetary Union.
EALA Speaker Ngoga noted that the induction process was timely since the lawmakers needed to be equipped with the knowledge base relevant to the tasks ahead of them.
According to the induction programme, the new legislators are to receive a presentation on understanding regional integration, understanding salient provisions of the EAC treaty, operations of the EAC in general and EALA, understanding the laws of the community among others.
President Yoweri Museveni is expected to deliver the State of EAC address to the EALA sitting on Tuesday morning.
The EALA sitting in Kampala is expected to debate 3 Bills including the EAC Monetary Institute Bill, the EAC Statistics Bureau Bill and the EAC Oaths Bill.