The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) holds its sitting in Nairobi, Kenya, next week. The third Meeting of the Fifth Session of the Third Assembly takes place from November 21 to December 1.
The Assembly is to be presided over by the Speaker, Rt. Hon Daniel F. Kidega and top on the agenda during the two week period is the address by President Uhuru Kenyatta expected to be delivered at a Special Sitting on November 29.
The two key Bills on the agenda are the EAC Gender Equality and Development Bill, 2016 as well as the EAC Polythene Materials Control Bill, 2016.The EAC Gender Equality and Development Bill, 2016 makes provision for gender equality, protection and development in the Community.
The EAC Polythene Materials Control Bill, 2016 moved by Patricia Hajabakiga, aims at providing a legal framework for the preservation of a clean and healthy environment through the prohibition of manufacturing, sale, importation and use of polythene materials. The Bill was re-introduced during the Sitting held in August 2016 in Arusha, Tanzania.
Also to be deliberated on during the two week period are reports from various Committees of the House, including that of the sensitisation activities in the Partner States and a Report on the activity with the EAC Audit and Risk Committee. The Report of the Committee on Legal Rules and Privileges on the Oversight activity on Approximation and harmonization of the National laws in the EAC context and another on procurement of health and group staff insurance shall also be tabled.
The Plenary shall be followed by the Inter-Parliamentary Relations Seminar (Nanyuki Series) held on November 30th – December 2nd, 2016. The Seminar which is the 10th in series since inception is anchored on the theme: Good Governance and Poverty Reduction in East Africa and is expected to be attended by legislators from the EAC Partner States’ Parliaments.
Conceived in 2003, the Inter-Parliamentary Relations Seminar is one of the avenues through which EALA and the National Assemblies of the EAC Partner States interact as per the requirements of Articles 49(2) and 65 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC. The nature of the Nanyuki meetings is rotational with venues in respective Partner States. Nine meetings have so far been held with various themes under the title, ‘Nanyuki Series’, so named after the venue of the first one held in June 2004.
The forthcoming Seminar is intended to discuss the gap between theory and the realities on the ground in contemporary East Africa as it analyses the correlation between good governance and poverty reduction efforts.
At the end of the Seminar, it is expected that: the interface between governance and poverty reduction focusing on the main anti-poverty reduction strategy in the East Africa Community shall be critically examined and contextualized.
According to analysts, poverty reduction is increasingly becoming a rights-based issue. The international Community has accepted it as a universal agenda through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is being reflected at the national level by the initiation and implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) in many developing countries, including the East African Partner States.