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Gender, Community Development & Civil Society

Hon. Alex Ndeezi; AUD President (MP) Uganda, (center) with other members of the AUD and ADA delegation as well as EAC Secretariat and the 50 Million Women Speak Project Staff pose for a group photo outside the EAC Headquarters building.

African Union of the Deaf on a Fact-Finding Tour to the EAC Headquarters

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 8th December, 2017:

A delegation from the African Union of the Deaf (AUD) and the Africa Disability Alliance (ADA) on Thursday made a fact-finding tour of the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The purpose of the tour was to sensitize the EAC Secretariat on the mandate of AUD and ADA, in addition to learning familiarization about the EAC’s Social policy and disability legislative frameworks.

This corporate institutions awareness was further intended to enlighten AUD and ADA on the process of the Africa Disability Protocol (ADP) in order to seek support for its ratification.

The AUD Delegation was headed by its President, Hon. Alex Ndeezi, who is also a Ugandan MP, while ADA which is based in South Africa, was led by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Andrew. K. Dube.

Hon. Ndeezi commended the EAC Secretariat and the East African Legislative Assembly for the efforts they have made towards mainstreaming and advocating for issues pertaining to People with Disabilities (PWDs).

Hon. Ndeezi said AUD was looking forward to supporting EAC’s initiatives PWDs at a technical or financial level in the near future and promised further engagements in various fora to push the PWDs mainstreaming agenda both at the regional, continental and international level. Hon. Ndeezi described the EAC as the leading regional bloc in Africa that has implemented a number of advocacy initiatives and policies touching on PWDs.

Receiving the delegation on behalf of the EAC Secretary was the Principal Gender and Community Development Officer, Ms. Generose Minani, assured them that the EAC would work closely with them in advocating for the welfare of PWDs.

Ms. Minani disclosed that EAC Partners States have put in place policies to mainstream disability concerns at both the national and regional level.

“The EAC recognizes the need to empower Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in line the provisions of Article 120(c) of the Treaty that calls upon Partner States to co-operate amongst themselves in the field of social welfare with respect to, among others, the development and adoption of a common approach towards disadvantaged and marginalized groups, including children, the youth, the elderly and persons with disabilities through rehabilitation and provision of, among others, foster homes, healthcare, education and training,” she said.

“Other milestones that have been realized within the PWDs docket include the EAC Policy on PWDs which was adopted in March 2012. The policy is a yardstick to inform other policies, programmes and sectoral plans among the EAC Partner States. The EAC policy on PWDs therefore aims at the provision of an enabling environment by Partner States for the empowerment of PWDs to facilitate their effective participation in and their eventual benefit from development initiatives,” added Ms. Minani.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The African Union of the Deaf (AUD) is a continental organization, which was established to serve as an umbrella organization of the Deaf on the African Continent. Deaf African activists who attended the African Disability Consultative Workshop in South Africa in 2003 founded AUD.

AUD works with regional and international organizations like the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), the Africa Disability Forum (ADF) and ADA as cooperating partners to address deafness and disability rights issues continentally and internationally. Through this effective partnership with Continental Disability Peoples Organizations, AUD works with the AU in which it is seeking observer status as well as consultative status within AU appointed bodies and agencies concerned with disability issues.

AUD advocates for the interests of member organizations on the African continent. The first Constitution was approved in Tanzania on 10 May 2014. AUD has been legally registered in Uganda and currently hosted by Uganda National Association of the Deaf (UNAD) in Kiwanga-Mukono. Its mission is to strive for equality, empowerment and full participation in society of Deaf people in the continent of Africa.

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For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 2008:9001 Certified

East African Youth Leadership Summit 2017 set for 27th Nov - 1st Dec in Arusha, Tanzania

EAC Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 20th November, 2017:

The East Africa Youth Leadership Summit is set to be held from 27th November to 1st December, 2017 at the Training Center for Development Cooperation (MS-TCDC) Campus in Usa River and at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

Themed Unlocking Youth Leadership Potential: Youth at the Centre of the East African Integration, the Summit is being organized by the EAC Secretariat in collaboration with MS TCDC.

The Summit, abbreviated as YouLead, has been organized in line with the provisions of the EAC Youth Policy (2016) Priority 14 which mandates the EAC Secretariat to build networks and partnerships and particularly to “institute an annual youth leaders’ forum with the EAC Secretary General as a regional platform for youth engagement with the EAC leadership.”

The objectives of the East African Youth Leadership Summit include; facilitating a step-by-step appreciation of the current opportunities within and beyond the region; challenging young people to think and act beyond conventional takes, and; creating an opportunity to deepen the partnership and cooperation among youth from participating sectors/countries.

Other objectives are to: encourage youth to develop sustainable projects by rolling regional and global issues, and; to nourish constructive exchange of ideas and good practices, hands-on skills development among the youth in the region.

The Summit will feature myriad stakeholders including youth leaders from business, government and civil society sector, policy-makers, thought-provoking academics, daring social entrepreneurs, media people, CEOs, civil society advocates, and other inspirational practitioners.

Participants will range between 15 and 35 years of age with at least 30 representatives from each EAC Partner State. To attain the ultimate goal, but at the same time maintain the youthful aspect, there will be a series of activities and break-out sessions including: workshops, group discussions, dialogues, symposiums, presentations, and formal and informal chats. All the activities will be tailored to ensure maximum interactions among participants.

Partner States’ Ministries responsible for Youth and EAC Affairs, National Youth Councils, Youth Networks, institutions of higher learning and all stakeholders and champions of Youth are expected to fully and actively mobilize participation in the Summit.

Notes to Editors

As of 2014 and 2016, MS Training Center for Development Cooperation (MS TCDC) hosted two remarkable programmes: Youth Governance Festival (YGF14) and the Regional Youth Seminar (RYS16) respectively. The YGF14 aimed at propelling the urgency to involve youth in critical decision-making processes and stimulate their consciousness to proactively integrate their contributions into ongoing governance and development processes at the EAC level.

On the other hand, RYS16 aimed at bringing together youth and youth representatives who took part in the YGF to showcase their works, evaluate progress on the steps taken since the festival, and share their perspectives on addressing the Leadership challenges facing the region. Both programmes managed to attract more than 400 youth from the East African region and beyond. 

The programmes are premised on the cognizance that East Africa is one of the sub-regions in Africa in which an estimated 60% percent of the population are youth, described in the EAC Youth Policy as those aged between 15 and 35 years old.  The programmes further recognise that as the EAC integration widens and deepens, there is a growing need to bring the youth, present and future leaders, on board to engage with them on issues pertinent to regional integration.

In recognizing that youth are a crucial asset and an important key resource in social economic and political development of the community, MS TCDC in partnership with the EAC Secretariat are undertaking various initiatives to promote continuous dialogue among the youth and incite their interest in advocating for regional integration.

With the previous experience and consultations made from our stakeholders, and in an effort to implement the EAC Youth Policy (2016) priority 14 which calls on the EAC Secretariat to build networks and partnerships, the organizing team has decided to merge the two programmes and come up with one programme – The East Africa Youth Leadership Summit shortly known as “YouLead”. This program, in line to the previous ones, aims at continuing with the efforts of inspiring and challenging young people to play their role in changing their societies for better.

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For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 2008:9001 Certified

Incubator for Integration and Development in East Africa (IIDEA) Launched in Bujumbura

East African Community Secretariat; Arusha, Tanzania; 23 June 2017:

The Incubator for Integration and Development in East Africa (IIDEA) developed as a joint initiative between the EAC Secretariat, Regional Dialogue Committee (RDC), and GIZ was launched on Thursday, 22nd June, 2017, by Uganda’s 2nd Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of EAC Affairs and the Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers, Hon. Dr. Ali Kirunda Kivenjija, at the commencement of the 5th Annual Secretary General's Forum for Private Sector, Civil Society and other Interest Groups, in Bujumbura, Burundi.

Speaking during the launch event, Hon. Kivenjija said through the IIDEA project, the EAC is not only very proud to support private sector, civil society and other interest groups in East Africa, who are the region’s most committed partners in integration, but also to be able to provide tangible opportunities for citizens to enable them support, own and champion the integration agenda. 

"We believe doing this will not only bridge the gap between East African Citizens and the EAC, but also strengthen the integration process.”

He informed the participants that since the commencement of IIDEA’s activities in April 2016, a total of sixteen projects have been approved by the IIDEA Committee for support. “Two projects have been successfully completed, fourteen are currently under implementation and all are producing promising results”, asserted the Chairperson of the EAC Council.

“In addition, IIDEA pioneering projects focus on issues ranging from technological innovation, gender empowerment, cross border trade, SMEs promotion and development, market access and information, youth skills enhancement and employment, saving for healthcare, art incubation, cultural integration among others”, stated Hon.Kivenjija.

The Chairperson of the Council commended Regional Dialogue Committee (RDC), IIDEA Committee and GIZ for their contributions towards making the EAC integration more than just empty words. "We applaud you and ask that you continue with the good work.”

Addressing the participants of the forum earlier during the official opening of the 5th SG’s Forum, Burundi’s Minister to the Office of the President responsible for East African Community Affairs, Hon. Isabelle Ndahayo said the 5th Annual Forum was first and foremost organized in the spirit of widening and deepening the EAC integration process. 

“As a matter of fact, the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community and especially Article 7 paragraph 1 (a) stipulates that the principles that shall govern the practical achievements of the objectives of the Community shall include people-centred and market driven cooperation”, added the Minister.

“I have no doubt that the themes and sub-themes developed in this 5th Annual Secretary General’s Forum are going to emphasize the involvement of the citizenry and its implementation in the context of multi-stakeholder partnerships.”

She reiterated the commitment of the Government of Burundi to the involvement of Private Sector Organizations (PSO), Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and other Interest Groups in the integration process by establishing a National Dialogue Committee in accordance with the directive of the Council of Ministers.

On his part, the EAC Secretary General, Amb Libérat Mfumukeko informed the participants that Article 127 (4) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC specifically provides for an Annual Forum convened by the Secretary General of the East African Community that brings together the Parties to the Dialogue to discuss issues of mutual interest and engagement through sector specific fora.

He disclosed that the Civil Society Organizations has been fulfilling the principal of a people-centered Community by playing a major role in the implementation of the 4th EAC Development Strategy (2012/2016) and also advocacy for the extended Jurisdiction of East African Court of Justice (EACJ).

“Through their engagement in the integration process we have witnessed the negotiation and conclusion of Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) by professionals in the following areas; Accountants, Engineers, Architects; Veterinary Surgeons; the Land Surveyors and Advocates in East Africa, harmonization of education curricular with draft structures and frameworks leading to the harmonization of the EAC curricula developed and harmonized Draft Rules and Regulations guiding the conduct of Examinations in EAC Education institutions have been developed,” added the Secretary General.

Amb. Mfumukeko also highlighted the role of Private Sector in fulfilling the market driven principle of the Treaty by implementing the commitments enshrined within the EAC Customs Union and Common Market Protocols by improving the business and economic environment through evidence-based policy advocacy in the areas of harmonization of trade facilitation and regulatory framework, harmonization of product standards, advocating for free movement of the factors of production, as well as addressing trade barriers faced by women-owned businesses and Micro, Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

The Vice President of the East African Law Society, Ms. Anne Abeja said the biggest concern for any organization should be when their most passionate people become quiet. ‘’Let us, as participants and stakeholders of the SG’s Forum, not become quiet on matters of regional Integration‘’. We are here representing the people of East Africa, I believe we are passionate, that is why we are here to begin with, we therefore owe it to us all, to not just be heard but to be seen and felt as well in matters of Regional Integration and in implementing agreed recommendations”, affirmed Ms. Abeja.


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Notes to Editor: 

EAC has been implementing the Consultative Dialogue Framework since December 2012 after its adoption by the 26th Meeting of the Council of Ministers. The Consultative Dialogue Framework provides for a structured dialogue between the East African Community, Private Sector Organizations, Civil Society Organizations and other Interest Groups and is guided by the principles enshrined in the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC (Articles 127, 128 and 129). The EAC Secretariat is organizing the SG’s Forum with support from GIZ.

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

 The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001: 2008 Certified

Preparations in top gear for 5th EAC Secretary General's Forum for Private Sector, Civil Society and Other Interest Groups in Bujumbura

East African Community Secretariat; Arusha, Tanzania; 19 June 2017:

Preparations for the 5th Annual Secretary General's Forum for Private Sector, Civil Society and Other Interest Groups, to be held in Bujumbura, Burundi on 22nd to 23rd June 2017, are in high gear with participants drawn from Governments of EAC Partner States, Private Sector Organization’s (PSOs), Civil Society Organisation (CSO’s), Professional bodies, Academia/Universities, Media and EAC Organs and Institutions, Development partners and other interest groups.

The forum aims to provide an opportunity for the private sector, civil society and other interest groups to share experiences and good practices of the integration process experienced in the last 15 years and work out a coordinated strategy towards a common future of a political integration and a borderless community.

Each year, the Secretary General’s Forum deals with a wide range of topics that are at the heart of the integration process in East Africa. This year, the central topic will concern the progress, challenges and future of the implementation of the Common Market Protocol, particularly the free movement of labour and services. Through consultation and dialogue, non-state actors and EAC officials will agree upon concrete policy measures to be implemented by the EAC Secretariat and Partner States.

The two-day 5th Annual Secretary General's Forum themed “15 Years of The EAC: Towards a Borderless Community” will discuss different topic including;

  • The implementation of the free movement of labour and services between the six Partner States of the EAC.
  • Sustainable development in relation to improving food security and agricultural value chains, localising the climate change agenda and increasing gender equality.
  • The promotion of local production through public procurement, especially in relation to infrastructural projects within the EAC.
  • The impacts of ICT in enhancing the free movement of goods and services and impact of media as enablers of stronger citizen participation in the process.

This year’s forum will see the launching of Incubator for Integration and Development in East Africa (IIDEA) as one of the key event. IIDEA was developed as a joint initiative between the EAC Secretariat, Regional Dialogue Committee (RDC) and GIZ in order to demonstrate the tangible benefits of integration to citizens. Through IIDEA, regional integration projects are proposed and implemented by civil society, private sector and interest groups.

The inclusion of private sector, civil society and interest group stakeholders through the consultative framework of the Secretary General’s Forum is key to realising the goals envisaged in the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. Through the Annual Secretary General’s Forum, East Africa takes another step towards the vision of one people, one destiny.

The forum is being organized by the EAC Secretariat with support from GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH)


- ENDS -

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001: 2008 Certified

International Women's Day Celebrations at EAC

East African Community Secretariat; Arusha, Tanzania; 09 March 2017:
The East African Community (EAC) women led by Hon. Jesca Eriyo, Deputy Secretary General in charge of Finance and Administration (DSG F&A), yesterday  participated in a colorful march to the local market in Arusha; ‘Soko Kuu’ in commemoration of the International Women’s Day (IWD). Other key EAC women representatives among the front-liners of the march included the Director of Social Sectors; Mary Makoffu and the Principal Human Resource Officer; Ruth Simba

The march also brought together a broad spectrum of women stakeholders from various organizations such as women and men in support of women from EAC, Germany International Cooperation Agency (GIZ), the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Arusha Municipal Council, Women’s Organizations, Vision for Youth representatives as well as secondary school students from the International School of Moshi and Arusha Day Secondary School.

The market march orchestrated by the Tanzanian Army Brass Band based in Monduli, Arusha, was organized by EAC and the Arusha Municipal Council in collaboration with GIZ and ILO, in a bid to offer material support aimed at improving the working conditions of the market cleaners who are mostly women.

On arrival at the market, participants engaged in a cleaning exercise of the market’s environs before officially handing over the purchased cleaning equipment to the market’s management. Witnessing this were Council representatives including Acting City Director; Mariam Kimolo and the Ward Councilor; Abdulrasul Tojo.

Speaking briefly at the market, Hon. Jesca Eriyo urged women to work towards taking up leadership positions at the work place, noting that there are very few women worldwide in top positions within the labor force. She also called for men’s support of women not only at the workplace but the society at large and highly commended those present at the event for taking time to participate in the IWD celebrations.

On behalf of the market businesswomen was Mariam Okashi who particularly thanked EAC and GIZ for their generous support in not only providing cleaning equipment but for having a bigger picture in mind: a clean and safe working environment for the market vendors as well, both men and women.

Participants marched back to the EAC headquarters where they gathered for the official IWD celebrations. Gracing this momentous occasion as Guest of Honor was the East African Court of Justice Judge President; His Lordship Hon. Dr. Emmanuel Ugirashebuja.

In her official opening remarks at the event, Hon. Jesca Eriyo highlighted that IWD can be an important catalyst and vehicle for driving greater change for women and moving closer to gender parity bearing in mind, article 5(e) in the EAC Treaty which stipulates gender mainstreaming in all its endeavors and enhancement of the role of women in cultural, social, political, economic and technological development, whereas articles 121 and 122 emphasize the role of women in socio economic development and in Business. She also encouraged men to support women at the workplace by creating a conducive environment for them to thrive and fully unleash their potential.

This year’s IWD campaign theme is Be Bold for Change with a focus on ‘Women in the Changing World of Work, Planet 50-50 in 2030. The theme aims at encouraging effective action for advancing and recognizing women in all aspects of life.

The theme was developed in cognizance that the global understanding of work is changing with significant implications on the day to day lives of women. While in most parts of the world, women have made tremendous progress in building competencies to access decent work, there exists huge inequalities, informality of labor, violence and environmental impacts in other societies.

Also addressing participants at the official opening was the GIZ Deputy Programme Manager; Kirsten Focken, who began by stating that ‘the presence of both men and women at the event was a symbol of unity, support and solidarity to the gender parity and equality campaign which is reinforced by the commemoration of IWD at EAC”.

She particularly emphasized GIZ’s support towards women in small scale cross-border trade adding that this is what triggered the development of the Simplified Guide for Micro and Small Scale Women Cross Border Traders and Service Providers within EAC.

Delivering the keynote address was the ILO Director-East Africa Office; Mary Kawar. She commended EAC for its efforts this year in engaging women at different capacities at the event to consolidate their efforts towards this year’s IWD theme. She also challenged EAC to set labor standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for women for them to thrive in the work place within the region, reiterating; “…for women to have equal opportunities, they have to be protected by laws”.

Presiding over the official IWD celebrations was East African Business Council Executive Director; Lilian Awinja, East African Sub-regional Support Initiative (EASSI) Director; Marren Akatsa-Bukachi, who gave a motivational talk at the event and the East African Women in Business Platform (EAWiBP) Coordinator; Nancy Gitonga. 

EAWiBP brings together business and professional women from across the EAC region. The Platform is taking proactive steps to increase women’s participation in intra – EAC trade, EAC integration process and economic empowerment. EAWiBP works towards achieving its goals through policy advocacy and by linking business women to skills, information, markets, capital and technical assistance.

The programme also included presentations on opportunities for Women in the EAC-Case Studies of the Incubator for Integration and Development in East Africa women projects.At the closing, the Director of Social Sectors; Mary Makoffu was pleased to give a vote of thanks to all the participants at the event on behalf of EAC and later, together with the Hon. Jesca Eriyo and the ILO and GIZ representatives, officiated the launch of the Simplified Guide for Micro and Small Scale Women Cross Border Traders and Service Providers within the EAC for dissemination.

International Women’s Day is annually held on March 8 to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. It is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.


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For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.


East African Community
EAC Close
Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
Arusha
United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac@eachq.org