3rd EAC Annual Secretary General’s Forum for Private Sector, Civil Society and Other Interest Groups Concluded in Entebbe [press release]

The 3rd annual EAC Secretary General’s Forum for Private Sector, Civil Society and Other Interest Groups themed “EAC: My Home, My Business” opened by Uganda’s Minister for General duties under the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Prof. Tarsis Kabwegyere, on behalf of the Minister of East African Community (EAC) Affairs Hon. Shem Bageine, concluded at the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel, in Entebbe, Uganda on 13th September, 2014.

Addressing the participants at the officially opening on 12th September, 2014,Prof Kabwegyere said that “the Forum is indeed an important platform for promoting dialogue between the various implementing agencies to exchange and sharing of ideas on a sustained basis engenders a g partnership for achieving a fully integrated East Africa.

He reiterated the EAC commitment, not only towards the implementation of necessary interventions but also in addressing the emerging challenges along the way, mentioning a number of initiatives that relate to the four sub-themes of this Forum, some of which exist within Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Food Security and the Common Market Protocol.

The 11-13 September 2014 3rd annual EAC Secretary General’s Forum was attended by almost 200 delegates from the Partner States, PSOs, CSOs, professional bodies, AcademiaUniversities, Media and EAC Organs and Institutions, development partners and other interest groups. The first was held in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania, and second was last year in Nairobi, Republic of Kenya.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of East African Community Affair Uganda, Mrs Edith Mwanje urged participants to take note and appreciate the importance of the Forum which gives a chance to PSOs and CSOs to demand accountability which in the end ensures transparency and renewed commitment to take the EAC integration forward.

She commended the PSOs and CSOs for showing their active commitment through their participation in the various EAC programs and activities, urging that “this commitment should continue since we are all aiming at ensuring that the EAC regional integration agenda benefits us and improves our quality of life.

The EAC Secretary General Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera applauded the role and efforts of the PSOs, CSOs and other interest groups through the structured dialogue process in fostering the integration agenda. He also emphasized the theme of the event stating that it reflects on the ultimate aim of the EAC Pillars

On his part Mr John Bosco Rusagara, an East Africa Business Council (EABC) Board Member on behalf of the (EABC) Chairman appreciated the support of the EAC Partner States, EAC, GIZ and TMEA towards making the Forum a success.

He said that EAC should work towards wealth and job creation, accelerating economic growth, fighting poverty, promoting sustainable utilization of the current resources, protecting rights of citizens and promoting gender equality and equity in all aspects in order to promote sustainable socio-economic, cultural and political growth in the region.

He called for the EAC stakeholders to address challenges in order to accelerate the regional integration process.

The Forum’s symbolic kick-off took place on Thursday 11th September 2014,where an active GIZ-EAC head of programs Mr. Berud Multhaup was carried out, as well as a sensitization activity at the Nakiwogo Market, Entebbe. Delegates and members of the public also engaged in cleaning up exercise of the market as well as voluntary HIVAIDS counselling and testing courtesy of the Entebbe Municipal Health Department.

The Forum’s overall objective was to provide a platform where private sector, civil society and other interest groups can dialogueinteract with the Secretary General on regional integration matters.

It’s expected outputs are to increase participation of the PSOs, CSOs and other interest groups in the EAC policy formulation and decision-making processes increase sense of ownership of EAC integration by the citizenry and increase awareness among citizens among citizens on the EAC integration.

Note to Editors

The Dialogue Framework Forum for Private Sector, Civil Society and other interest groups in the EAC integration process was endorsed by the EAC Council of Ministers at its 26th meeting in November 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Forum is guided by the principles of cooperation for mutual benefit, trust, goodwill, active and constructive participation, inclusivity and respect for diverse views.

Source : East African Community

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