Kigali, 6 September 2011
President Kagame today at Parliament buildings addressed the first meeting of the fifth session of the second East African Legislative Assembly sitting in Kigali. The Assembly to be presided over by the Speaker of EALA, Rt. Hon Abdirahin H. Abdi, shall during the two-week period, discuss matters of legislative business. It is expected, among other things, to debate a number of bills.
In his address, President Kagame commended EALA for conducting their sessions in partner sates because this offers the people of East Africa the opportunity to witness, at close quarters, and understand the workings of organs of the Community.
Noting that more needs to be done towards the integration process, President Kagame pointed out that for the various organs of the community to perform better – by delivering as one and enhancing cooperation and collaboration with national institutions – greater collaboration and more linkages with National Parliaments was key:
“This way, the community will be brought closer to the people for whom it is intended. Equally important, through their elected representatives, the legislators would have a direct contribution and claim ownership of the integration process. The necessity for the different legislatures to work together and harmonise legislative processes becomes more urgent when we recognise that laws enacted by EALA supersede national laws of Partner States.”
President Kagame called upon the Assembly to hold partner states accountable in regard to implementation of integration commitments so that the process moves at the pace desired by the East African people. Said he: “It is imperative that this Assembly and the Council of Ministers collaborate more on mechanisms to initiate laws to enforce the expeditious implementation of the Customs Union and the Common Market Protocol. That way, East African citizens can reap benefits accruing from them.”
President Kagame urged the East African legislators to make it their responsibility to ensure that there are mechanisms of better environmental management so as to mitigate effects of climate change: “As you are all aware, our region continues to experience periodic droughts, floods, other natural disasters and food shortages, owing in part to effects of climate change and poor management of the environment…..The need to develop agricultural policies and practices and land management systems that ensure food security in this region is most urgent. As legislators, you have a critical role to play in this respect.”
See more photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulkagame/sets/72157627482925545/
Listen to Speech on podcast: http://paulkagame.tv/podcast/?p=episode&name=2011-09-06_kagamerwandaeala.mp3