Ngoga said this would be done through the creation of a commission for the administration of the East African legislative Assembly to ease the management of its financial and administrative affairs.
He was speaking during the opening of a one-week induction organized for the regional body’s legislators as they start their first session of the fourth East Africa Legislative Assembly in Kampala.
He appealed to the speaker of the Ugandan parliament Rebecca Kadaga to help the assembly in putting in place institutional frameworks to accelerate the transition since it requires Uganda’s experience.
“It has been the decision of the Council [of Ministers] to grant autonomy for the East African Legislative Assembly and the East African Court of Justice. We need your help as it is going to be a new experiment,” said Ngoga.
For her part, Kadaga pledged to Uganda’s full support in establishing a fully-fledged and independent secretariat noting that the assembly has the technical wherewithal to region to attain financial and administrative autonomy over its affairs.
“We are open for the benchmarking since we are the first Parliament in the region to establish our own system. We are happy to share our experiences,” said Kadaga.
“One of the causes of the collapse of the previous EAC (1967-77), was the low level of involvement of stakeholders in their activities. As legislators, through our collective action, we must direct our efforts towards a unified and empowered East African Community”, Kadaga remarked. “Autonomy for EALA is vital and Parliament of Uganda is so keen to see it fully operationalized”, she added.
Kadaga also urged member states to expedite their contributions to facilitate the Assembly’s work.
EALA, currently run by a secretariat funded by member states through annual contributions, seek to have the Assembly gain more control over its finances and administration.
Ngoga leads a team of EALA MPs from the six member states. They are in the country for their delayed first sitting, to be graced by President Yoweri Museveni.
Meanwhile Kadaga advised EALA to intensify their grassroots campaigns to endear the planned political integration to the masses.
“There is need for the secretariat to actualize the popularization of the community so that the citizens can appreciate the need of the East African Community,” said Kadaga.
Meanwhile, Martin Ngoga who hails from Rwanda also implored the regional assembly to foster unity so as to serve better during their tenure.
All the five EALA Members of Burundi were present despite their earlier contestations following the election of Ngoga.
South Sudan, the newly enrolled member state will also be represented in the Fourth EALA.
Museveni to address EALA
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni will Tuesday officially open the first session of the fourth East Africa Legislative Assembly presided over by the new Rwandan Speaker Martin Ngoga.
Museveni will meet the 54 EALA lawmakers from six East African Community member states in the parliamentary chambers of the Uganda parliament to ask them to champion the country’s interests as they work to accelerate regional integration.
The Plenary which takes place from January 23rd 2018, through to February 9, 2018, is the Second Meeting of the First Session of the Fourth Assembly.
The State of EAC Address is an annual address delivered by the sitting EAC Summit Chair and it sets the momentum and impetus for the integration process by reflecting on general policies that relate to the Community’s progress while outlining the strategic challenges which require attention.
The Assembly shall during the three-week period shall debate three key Bills; the EAC Oaths Bill, 2017, the EAC Statistics Bureau Bill, 2017 and the EAC Monetary Institute Bill, 2017.
On Monday next week, the MPs will debate motions before establishing and electing chairpersons of committees.
They include Committee on Legal Rules and Privileges, Committee on Communication, Trade and Investment, Committee on Agriculture, Tourism and Natural Resources and Committee on Accounts.
Others are Committee on Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution and the Committee on General Purpose. After the election, the committees will start sittings.
On February 7, the East African Monetary Institute Bill, 2017 and East African Community Statistic Bureau Bill, 2017 will be introduced in the House for first reading.
The plenary will also debate Museveni’s address and on February 8, the East African Community Oaths Bill, 2017 will be introduced for its first reading.
This is the second time that Uganda is hosting the regional assembly in a period of two years.