EALA Uganda chapter is scaling up public awareness of the East African Community with a two-day sensitization of stakeholders at the parliament of Uganda. The workshop is aimed at gathering challenges affecting stakeholders in the integration.
The event organized by the East African Legislative Assembly – Uganda Chapter, kicked off on Monday with interaction with different stakeholders that include different groups like the association of clearing and forwarding, Uganda Women Cross Border traders cooperative, lorry drivers, informal traders among others.
The workshop is under a theme of “people-centered and market-driven integration, enhancing the role of stakeholders in the implementation of the protocol on the establishment of the East African Community common market”.
According to the chairperson of the Uganda chapter (EALA) Hon George Odongo, they want to get feedback from the stakeholders who are at the receiving end of the EAC laws, regulations, and protocols.
“ These are the kind of interactions that give birth to fresh proposals, that we as their representatives carry forward, we are hoping that from these meetings, we will prepare feedback, particularly on the implementation of the protocol that talks about free movement of persons of goods and services,” said Hon Odongo.
He however told the participants that some issues will require the intervention of the minister of east African affairs to coordinate implementation since policies, laws, and protocols are already in place.
Odongo urged the leadership of different associations to work together to strengthen their organizations so as to influence decision-makers on the challenges of the integration.
The chairman of the Uganda clearing industry and forwarding association Mr. Al-Hajj Jaffer Farallah called on EAC member states to consider giving industrial opportunities to local investors.
“We have noted that in other countries like China, the US, or India, we do not have clearing companies run by the Ugandans, but we have clearing companies here run by foreigners, and these companies will cause a challenge if we don’t ring-fence some of these sectors as industrial protection for the indigenous ’’.Mr. Jaffer explained.
Jaffer also called on EAC partner states to consider policies to protect indigenous industries, wondering why most of the opportunities are given to foreigners yet the indigenous industries employ a lot of local people.
Last week EAC welcomed the Democratic Republic of Congo into the integration as a seventh member.