The East African Community (EAC) has launched a citizens’ engagement campaign as part of its 20th Anniversary celebrations.
The campaign dubbed ‘The EAC I Deserve’ seeks to reach more than 10 million East Africans over the next one year.
The campaign will, among other things, include social media interfaces and a regional Youth Videos and Animations Competition involving all the six EAC Partner States. A total prize of US$25,000 awaits the innovative 30 youthful winners in the competition.
Launching the campaign at the EAC Headquarters, EAC Secretary General Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko said that the whole idea behind the maiden video and animations drive was to enable the youth in the region to capture real stories about the benefits the Community has had on citizens’ lives, narrate the challenges citizens are facing that can be jointly addressed and to gauge the citizens’ aspirations of the EAC they want.
“Demographics dictate that the youth must actively engage in the integration process, for the bloc is yours and the EAC Vision 2050 is your future. Much as the youth account for over 65% of East Africa’s total population, capturing and incorporating your dreams and aspirations in the integration agenda through video and animations is imperative,” said Mfumukeko.
The SG said that the campaign also intends to encourage constructive and innovative coverage of the EAC integration process in the print, electronic and online media to provide ordinary East Africans, potential investors and tourists with insights on the existence of the bloc and opportunities in store for them.
“The objective is to motivate individual journalists and their media houses to take up regional issues as their key area of interest and as their specialised writing genre,” said the SG.
The SG outlined the many achievements of the Community since its establishment 20 years ago notably the various policy initiatives, new infrastructure, regional industrialisation, healthcare approaches, increased intra-EAC trade, and the Common Higher Education area.
He, however, observed that the region still needs to do more in all sectors to realise the many and varied aspirations of its 170 million citizens.
“As we celebrate what we have achieved so far, we wish to hear stories from every East African on the impact the EAC has made to his or her life and the future he or she wants the region to be. We at the EAC Secretariat are keen on capturing dreams and aspirations of every citizen of the region during and after this celebration through the Citizen’s Engagement Campaign we are launching today.
“This campaign will enable you citizens, particularly the online community, to use the digital space as your platform for engaging us at the EAC Secretariat, Partner States, the East African Legislative Assembly, the East African Court of Justice and all institutions of the bloc.