The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) shall hold its sitting in Kigali, Rwanda, next week.
The plenary which takes place from Monday, November 22, 2015 to Friday, December 4, 2015, is the third meeting of the fourth session of the third assembly.
The Assembly is to be presided over by the Speaker, Daniel F. Kidega. Top on the agenda during the two week period is the special sitting expected to be addressed by the President of the Republic of Rwanda, H.E. Paul Kagame.
Two key bills on the cards at the EALA meeting are the EAC disaster risk reduction bill 2013 and the EAC forestry management bill 2014.
The EAC forestry management Bill 2014 seeks to promote the development, protection, conservation, sustainable management and use of the forests in the community especially trans-boundary forests ecosystems, in the interest of present and future generations.
It further wants to espouse the scientific, cultural and socio-economic values of forests and harmonise national forest laws.
The Assembly adjourned debate on the forest management and protection bill, 2014 at its last sitting in Nairobi in October 2015. The adjournment at committee stage followed the successful motion for the same, tabled by the chair of EAC council of ministers, Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, seeking for more time to enable the United Republic of Tanzania to make input.
Dr Mwakyembe then informed the house that the United Republic of Tanzania was expected to go to the polls in October and that it was necessary for the debate to be put on hold until such time that a new government is in place to effectively enable the Partner State to make its input.
The EAC disaster risk reduction bill 2013 on its part seeks to provide a legal framework for intervention and assistance for people affected by climate change and natural related hazards and to protect the natural environment through integration of comprehensive disaster risk reduction and management practices in the EAC.
Debate on the Bill, moved for second reading in August 2013, was halted following a request by the council of ministers to consult and consider its policy implications. The EAC Ministers’ further called for the taking over of the Bill for appropriate amendment and re-introduction as a council of ministers’ bill. At the same time, the move was to allow for pursuit of the ratification of the EAC protocol on peace and security which among other objectives, provides for co-operation in DRR management and crisis response.
During the plenary sittings, the house is also expected to receive and to debate on a number of reports. They include that of the committee on accounts for the audited financial statements of EAC for the financial year ended June 30, 2014 and the committee on agriculture, tourism and natural resources report on the sensitisation workshop on standards by the African organisation of standardisation (ARSO).
The report of the committee on communication, trade and investment on the on-spot assessment of one stop border posts in the EAC is also expected to be tabled and debated.
In addition, the committee on legal, rules and privileges shall table its report on the implementation of resolutions and questions of the assembly and council commitments.
EALA sittings are held under the principle of rotation in line with article 55 of the EAC Treaty. Its last sitting took place in Nairobi, Kenya in October 2015. EALA meets at least once in every year at its headquarter in Arusha, Tanzania