SET: Hon Mukasa Mbidde is set to introduce the EAC Cross-Border Trade in Professional Services Bill, 2016

The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) sitting in Kampala, Uganda has granted members leave of absence to introduce three key bills including the EAC Youth Council Bill, 2017, the EAC Mining Bill, 2017 and the EAC Cross Border Trade in Professional Services Bill 2016.

SUPPORTIVE: Hon Nusura Tiperu rises in support of the EAC Youth Council Bill, 2017

The EAC Youth Council Bill, 2017 is to be moved by Hon Susan Nakawuki, and will provide for the establishment of the EAC Youth Council. Members who supported the motion said the Bill is timely in its quest to mainstream youth issues in all EAC development policies and programmes.

The EAC Youth Council among other things anticipates provision of unified and integrated system through which the youth may communicate and co-ordinate their ideas, and encourage them (youth) to consolidate their role in development in the economic, social, cultural and educational fields.

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Hon Mukasa Mbidde also got the green light to introduce the EAC Cross Border Trade in Professional Services Bill, 2016, that will pave the way for professionals to crisscross the region as they render their services in line with the Common Market Protocol.  The Bill also takes into cognisance the exceptions with respect to movements, the threshold of the Common Market Protocol with respect to the freedoms and rights, the mutual recognitions in place as well as the Principle of variable geometry.

Hon Abubakar Zein contributes to the debate in the House

On his part, Hon Abdullah Mwinyi said Partner States need to harmonise their laws in line with adoption of common approaches as envisaged under Article 120, while Hon AbuBakr Ogle however cited a similar Bill brought to the floor of the House by Hon Dora Byamukama.

At the moment, architects and engineers are among the professions that have completed their Mutual Recognition Agreements while that of Lawyers is still pending.

The House also granted leave to Hon Chris Opoka to move the EAC Mining Bill 2016, premised on the EAC Vision 2050 and to operationalize Article 114(2)(c)(iv) of the Treaty which specifically calls for the harmonization of mining regulations to ensure environmentally friendly and sound mining practices.

The Bill is also to provide a transparent and accountable mechanisms for the reporting of mining and mineral related activities in the Community. Ultimately, this Bill is to reduce the differences in the operating environment for the mining industry among the member countries of the region.

Last week, the House also granted leave to Hon Dr Odette Nyiramilimo to introduce the EAC Sexual and Reproductive Health Bill, 2017 which shall provide for matters relating to sexual and reproductive health, to protect children, adolescents and young children from sexual abuse and other forms of exploitation and to provide for assisted reproductive technology and for related matters.

Pursuant to the provisions of Article 59 (1) of the Treaty and Rule 64 (1) of the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly, it can grant leave for introduction of Private Members’ bills.


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