Taking stock of Rwanda’s performance in EALA

Published by Théophile Niyitegeka
On 3 May 2017 saa 06:47
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The third five-year term of East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) will end on 4th June 2017 a day before new legislators swear in.

The assembly is composed of 45 parliamentarians from five member states each having nine representatives. The new committee anticipated in June 2017 will incorporate legislators from South Sudan which officially became EAC member recently.

Rwanda joined EAC in 2007. In a press briefing held yesterday, the representative of Rwanda’s parliamentarians in EALA, MP Patricia Hajabakiga said they did all their best in regional activities.

“We lead the telecommunication commission, business and investment commission, political commission and agriculture commission until today, accountability commission and budgeting and citizens welfare up to date,” she said.

Hajabakiga explained that the law reducing Non-Tariff barriers is among the achievements. In Rwanda, she explained the time of transporting goods from Dar es Salaam to Kigali has been reduced from 21 to three days.

“There were too many weigh bridges along the way that have since been reduced, leaving only three between Rwanda and Dar Es Salaam while five operate between Kigali and Mombasa because we cross two countries,” she said.

She also lauded making One Stop Border Posts possible.

Oda Gasinzigwa who joined EALA in October 2016 has said that Rwandans contributed a lot in EALA raising concerns for law revisions.

“Both the law banning plastic bags and the law related to reproductive health were proposed by MP Odette Nyiramirimo which shows Rwandans contribution,” she said.

MP Nyiramirimo who completes her second term explained that they passed 27 laws since 2012 along with other projects that will have been passed before ending tenure in June 2017.

“Rwandan MPs introduced six laws. We tried our best and I think we didn’t disappoint the country,” she added.

Unsolved problems

Failure of EAC member states’ failure to contribute to the Community budget has been a major challenge. Each member state had to contribute $8 378 108 in the 2016/2017 budget but only 44.51%, had been realized by 13th March 2017. Rwanda had paid 48.08% at the time.

MP Hajabakiga said recent communication with the Ministry of Infrastructure shows how far is the project of regional railway project.

“First Uganda has to avail the railway infrastructures at Rwanda’s border as Tanzania has to do the same so Rwanda can follow the chain of the project. This means Rwanda can’t do anything before these countries’ executions,” he said.

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Rwanda’s parliamentarians in EALA posing for a photo after a press conference.