President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni and Speaker Anita Among have made a case for the political integration of the East African Community (EAC).
Speaking at the induction of Members of Parliament on the Parliamentary Forum on East African Community Affairs at the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, Museveni said countries that are willing to politically federate should do so without the long wait for the undecided.
“If people were listening to me, we would have had a federation long ago; it is not correct for those who have a problem [with political federation] to veto those who want to move,” he said.
Museveni is of the view that integration is a guarantee of the region’s security and hailed the Parliamentary Forum on EAC Affairs led by MP Dickson Kateshumbwa, as a step in the right direction in having leaders involved in integration.
“Unite in order to create prosperity for your people and also for strategic security; I am very glad that you have formed this group…this is a matter of survival,” said Museveni blaming bureaucrats in the region and a section of the political actors for the stalled political integration.
Speaker Among, in a speech read by Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa cited non-tariff barriers as a torpedo of integration, calling upon member states to eliminate the same – in line with East African Community Common Market Protocols.
“As some of you may know, there is existence of non-tariff barriers which pose a hindrance to the EAC integration processes; there is need to remove them to facilitate cross-border trade and opportunities in the region,” she said.
The domestication of the East African Legislative Assembly Acts, said Speaker Among, is an important enabler of integration, which Parliament will be eagerly spearheading.