The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has called for enhanced collaboration and cooperation among sister regional parliaments in Africa to strengthen economic blocs on the continent.
EALA Speaker Abdirahin Abdi made the remarks here on Wednesday when he received Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (Sadc-PF) secretary general Dr Esau Chiviya.
“Today EALA enjoys warm and cordial ties with a number of parliamentary institutions. We are happy to receive you - Sadc-PF as we begin the new venture which should also contribute towards strengthening the Pan-African Parliament,” he noted.
The Sadc-PF secretary general is in the region on a three-day EALA study tour to learn about the mandate and operations of the EAC parliament and explore possible areas of best practices that the Sadc-PF can borrow from.
Abdi stated that EALA had made significant contributions in its 10 years of existence towards the attainment of the objectives of the EAC.
He said EALA’s fundamental role revolved around legislation, providing oversight and a representative function to the EAC. At the moment, besides the European Union (EU) Parliament, EALA is the only another regional parliament that has legislative powers.
The meeting was attended by EALA members—Dora Byamukama, Dan Wandera Ogalo, Abdullah Mwinyi and the clerk of the Assembly, Kenneth Madete.
Participants of the meeting pointed out that regional parliaments needed to tighten their collaborative efforts with national parliaments to enhance legislative services for the betterment of the constituents and the citizens they served.
The Speaker also received salutations from the chairperson of the Sadc-PF and the Speaker of the Parliament of Zimbabwe, Lovemore Moyo.
In his brief message Dr Chiviya, the chairperson lauded EALA for its vast contributions to the regional integration dispensation and pledged that Sadc-PF was both willing to closely work with and learn from EALA.
The three-day tour will see the officials also hold talks with the respective EAC deputy secretaries general in charge of productive and social sectors (PSS), planning and infrastructure (P&I) and finance and administration (F&I) and other high ranking officials of the EAC.
The Sadc-PF is in the process of transforming itself from a consultative body into a fully-fledged regional parliament. The officials thus hope to report back the findings of the tour at the next Sadc-PF plenary session scheduled for Angola in June