The Kenyan cabinet secretary for East African Affairs has warned of the challenges and sensitivities that lie ahead of the implementation of the pillars of the regional integration. Phyllis Kandie, who is also the chair of the Council of Ministers, said this on Wednesday while addressing the East African Legislative Assembly which is holding its 4th meeting of their second session in Kampala.
These pillars include the Customs Union, the Common Market Protocol, the Monetary Union and the Political Federation.
Phyllis Kandie, who is also the chair of the Council of Ministers, said this on Wednesday while addressing the East African Legislative Assembly which is holding its 4th meeting of their second session in Kampala. She said that the last two pillars will be the most complicated speculating anxiety and divisive debate on the direction and pace of the East African Community—EAC. She says this might slow down the pace of implementation of the decisions and directives as stakeholders and citizens’ consultations widen.
Kandie said that the success or failure of the integration will be a collective responsibility of all the partner states, adding that the credit or blame must not be attributed to just the Council, the Assembly, the Summit or any one of the EAC organs or institutions but to all East Africans.
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But Kandie warns that the EALA was given a pivotal responsibility by the treaty saying that the assembly’s sessions are a unique mechanism through which the Community is expected to maximize on the complementarities between its institutions and organs.
Kandie added that one of the greatest hindrances to the implementation of the directives, decisions and EALA Acts is the slow pace at which Partner States are moving towards the review, amendments and harmonization of their national laws to align them to those of the EAC. She urged EALA members to work in liaison with their respective national assemblies to actively participate in cases where the input of national assemblies is required.
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She also urged EALA to effectively engage in the process and to continuously review and strengthen the working relations between the Assembly and the Council. The minister said however that the Community has moved to solve the challenge of slowness in implementation and that the 15th Summit considered and adopted a mechanism for implementation of outstanding Summit decisions.
Kandie added that the Summit, among others, directed the Ministers responsible for East African Affairs in the respective Partner States to put in place structured, regular and enhanced follow-up mechanisms. She implored EALA members to actively engage the relevant national constituencies in the Partner States to ensure that the ratification of the East African Monetary Union Protocol, which was signed at the 15th summit of November 30th, is concluded by July 1, 2014 as directed by the Summit.
She challenged them to actively engage in the process saying that she will count on their support in the on-going consultations on the revised Model Structure of EAC Political Federation, the Roadmap and Action Plan which is due for consideration by the next Summit meeting in April 2014.
Kandie said the partner states will have to cede part of their sovereignty and place it into the EAC if it is to deliver on what it set out to achieve upon revival in 2000, saying that the integration gets disrupted when some decisions and directives are perceived to infringe on the partner states’ national sovereignty.