2 nd EAC University Students Debate on Regional Integration

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1 2 nd EAC University Students Debate on Regional Integration Understanding the Opportunities and Challenges arising from the EAC Integration for Youth in East Africa

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3 'In this Millennium of Science and Technology, young men and women are the greatest asset for the present and future. They represent the driving force behind social, economic and political reforms in the sphere of rapid global changes. Our society's progress is determined among other things by how much we involve the Youth in building the future. It is therefore important to prepare Youths as leaders, decision makers, good citizens, entrepreneurs, parents and guardians, because they have vital roles to play in the socio-economic development of the East African Community.' Dr. Richard Sezibera Ambassador, Secretary General East African Community

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5 Background (EAC) The East African Community (EAC), comprising the Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and the United Republic of Tanzania, is one of the fastest growing Regional Economic Communities on the African continent, but also, in virtue of its political ambitions, worldwide unique. EAC is, so far, the only Regional Economic Community that has the objective to attain a Political Federation of East African States. To this extent, the EAC Partner States have established a Customs Union (2005), a Common Market (2010) and signed the Protocol for a Monetary Union (2013). The Monetary Union is expected to be established in Fasttracking the Political Federation is now a priority for the EAC. The Political Federation shall create a unified political authority capable of coordinating policies as well as ensuring sustainable growth and development in the region. For this endeavour, the involvement of the youth is crucial, because they can be creative forces, dynamic sources of innovations and catalysts for important changes. 5

6 Youth as Stakeholders in the EAC Integration In 2011, it was estimated that the Youth represent 45% of the total population in the region. This makes them a critical partner for the EAC to forge forward the regional integration agenda. The involvement of the Youth in EAC affairs has been safeguarded through a number of legislative provisions: Article 120 (c) of the EAC Treaty provides for the involvement of the Youth through education, training and mainstreaming Youth issues into EAC policies and programmes as one of the strategic interventions towards the realisation of a fully integrated Community. In 2013, an EAC Youth Policy was adopted to that effect. 6

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8 The first EAC University Students Debate The first EAC University Students Debate on regional integration was organised by the EAC Secretariat in Arusha in August This event provided for the first time a regional platform to promote dialogue among university students and to draw their interest in advocating for regional integration initiatives. The event brought together over 100 students from public and private institutions of higher learning, representatives from the private sector, civil society, media, technocrats, and academia. It sparked broad enthusiasm among the youth for the EAC integration processes. At the end of the debate, 5 EAC Youth Ambassadors were appointed to act as focal points for EAC Affairs in their respective universities. They are supported by the EAC Secretariat to sensitise their peers on EAC integration processes, benefits and challenges. 8

9 The second EAC University Students Debate The second University Students Debate on Regional Integration took place in September 2013 in Dar es Salaam. Again, more than 100 students from the five Partner States and representatives from governments, inter-governmental organisations and higher education institutions came together. The Executive Secretary Professor Mayunga Nkunya of the Inter-University Council for East Africa participated as guest of honour. The student debaters defined their arguments along key milestones in the EAC integration and it became clear that the opportunities outweigh the challenges in the integration process. 9

10 The Motion: This House be arising from the EAC Integr the challenges Opportunities against Challenges in EAC Integration For the Motion (Opportunities) Harmonisation of the education systems Capital mobility Labour mobility Student mobility Stable political system (peace & security) Human enterprise development State cooperation Population Common currency Growing foreign direct investments Envisaged Political Federation Reduced vulnerability 10

11 lieves that the opportunities ation for the Youth outweigh Against the Motion (Challenges) Diverse languages Diverse cultures Different levels of economic development Different levels of democracy and governance Ideological mindset Local tariffs/non-tariff barriers Lack of political will Weak awareness raising platforms Poor infrastructure 'Cold war' among leaders Identity Crisis 11

12 'There are many chances of progress for the Youth arising from the EAC integration. Most of the Youth nowadays feel that they have been left out of politics. But here comes the East African Community giving them a chance, a right to be heard in policy meetings through the East African Youth Council.' Jacky Mwangi, Kenya 'Youth without education have nowhere to go.' Diane Kayiteta, Rwanda 'The world is coming to us and we have to face it. To face the world of the 21 st century we have to integrate, no matter which level we are at, but integration to me means development.' Raymond Maro, former Youth Ambassador to Tanzania 12

13 Quips and Quotes from the Debate 'The Youth is the backbone of the East African Community.' Effie Omondi, Kenya 'One of the main challenges facing the East African integration is the imbalance of opportunities.' Janeth Nagai, Tanzania 'Why should we fight each other? We shall be brothers of a super-state called the East African Community. The major opportunity of EAC integration would be improving the standards of living or the quality of life of the people of East Africa.' Apuuli Babigumira, Uganda 13

14 The Birth of the EAC Youth Ambassadors' Platform On the awards night of the 2 nd University Students Debate, the Deputy Secretary General of Political Federation Mr. Charles Njoroge launched the EAC Youth Ambassadors Platform (EACYAP) as a new advocacy forum for the youth to ensure their participation in the EAC integration processes. The platform is coordinated by the respective Youth Ambassador of each Partner State, while alumni ambassadors and debaters as well as all other youth passionate about the EAC can become members. The Platform intends to bridge the information gap about the EAC integration among the youth through knowledge and experience sharing and to foster their active participation in the integration. The Platform facilitates the establishment of EAC Youth clubs at universities and higher learning Institutions in East Africa in order to foster a debate on and engagement towards the goals of the EAC. 14

15 'The East African Community Youth Ambassadors' Platform seeks to empower young people to participate actively in society, to improve their own lives, to advocate for their own interests and to tell other young people about integration. This platform offers the youth an opportunity to identify with ongoing integration programmes, to raise issues affecting them and share experiences for the Youth in their countries and the region that will help realizing the goal of having a political federation. In the current political and social context that affects young people, the Youth can be powerful catalysts for positive change and contributors of innovative solutions for the region's problems.' (Quote by Millie Mbedi, former EAC Youth Ambassador to Kenya). 15

16 Apuuli Babigumira, Uganda Effie Omondi, Kenya EAC Youth Ambassadors' 2014 Bertha Tamara, Tanzania Sandra Mukesha, Rwanda Yves Nduwayezu, Burundi 16

17 Awarding Students Participation Awards Three categories of awards were presented: 1. The Participation Award (certificate) was given to all 30 students who participated as debaters 2. Best debaters: (1) Effie Omondi - Kenya, (2) Apuuli Babigumira - Uganda, (3) Michael Mayambala - Uganda, (4) Daphine Arinda - Uganda, and (5) Charles Mwangi - Kenya 3. The new Ambassadors and their Deputies Country Ambassador Deputy Burundi Yves Nduwayezu Josiane Nganinka Kenya Effie Omondi Charles Mwangi Rwanda Sandra Mukesha Doris Mutoni Tanzania Bertha Tamara Alice Musetti Uganda Apuuli Babigumira Michael Mayambala 17

18 Selected Recommendations from the Youth Debate Among others, the Youth Debate Participants called for The EAC to focus on implementation, with a pragmatic, strategic, dynamic, and realistic plan for action advancing governance, underpinned by a clear set of principles and commitment to address the needs of the youth. It is expected that the EAC recognises the central role the youth should play in the integration process. The Community shall provide strong leadership with clear responsibilities, enable local action, and provide appropriate instruments to facilitate the youth involvement. Consultations on the role of the youth will continue through various mechanisms, including regional platforms, national level dialogues, and intergovernmental meetings to help inform the preparations for and decisions of the youth as a dynamic resource in the EAC integration. The active engagement of national constituencies, including local communities, civil society and private sector, will be a prerequisite for a strong, shared agenda and a long-term intervention strategy for youth participation. The EAC, based on the experience from the implementation of year 1 of Youth Ambassadors, will adopt the Youth Ambassadors Platform and consider instruments and modalities to ensure its implementation, in synergy with regional strategies for effective engagement and other relevant international agendas. 18

19 ... and agreed that Education harmonisation should go beyond higher education to include basic education. Deliberate attempts should involve the youth in the EAC integration process through establishment of EAC clubs in schools and through community dialogue. Corruption must be removed from the midst of development. The step-wise approach adopted by the EAC is good for the citizens but it is too slow and often not visible enough to be questioned or championed by the common 'wananchi'. The EAC and the Partner States should speed up harmonisation of laws and policies within the framework of the EAC Treaty to provide clear space for effective participation by all stakeholders to the Treaty. That EAC streamlines and speeds up follow-up mechanisms on implementation of decisions and resolutions. 19

20 Institutionalising the EAC University Students Debate in the EAC Integration Process The 18 th Meeting of the Sectoral Council of Ministers responsible for EAC Affairs took note of the report of the 1 st EAC Students Debate and the annual nature of the event (EAC/ SCMEACP18/Decision 12). It urged Partner States to continue supporting activities of the Youth Ambassadors at national level and to involve them in national sensitisation activities (EAC/SCMEACP18/Decision 13). In line with these decisions, the EAC will continue to hold the EAC University Students Debate on annual basis and appoint the 5 winners - one from each Partner State - as honorary EAC Youth Ambassadors for one year. During their tenure, their main role will be to coordinate youth dialogue, sensitisation, and awareness creation on the EAC integration process. 20

21 The 1 st and the 2 nd EAC Students debate have seen the formation of EAC Youth Clubs at schools and universities which resulted in appreciation and constructive youth dialogues on the integration process. The EAC Youth Ambassadors were trained in Leadership and Advocacy, and participated in Training of Trainers workshops on EAC structures and processes. Reaching out to the Youth 21

22 The EAC Nyerere Centre for Peace Research The Nyerere Centre for Peace Research (NCPR) is a Functional Unit within the Office of the Department of Political Federation at the East African Community Secretariat. Its mandate was inspired by the legacy of peace by the Late Mwalimu Nyerere. The overall objective of the Centre is to provide the EAC with relevant and timely research, training and information that contributes to the deepening and widening of the integration in the areas of peace and security, good governance and foreign policy coordination. It is also a resource centre for research papers and studies commissioned by the EAC as part of the regional integration initiatives. The Centre also promotes youth dialogue and awareness on ongoing initiatives on regional political integration to enhance students' interest and coordinates the EAC Youth Ambassadors Platform. EAC Nyerere Centre for Peace Research P.O. Box 1096 Arusha, Tanzania NCPR web portal Contact: Isabelle Waffubwa Interact with the EAC and the East African Youth Ambassadors Platform on 22

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24 Imprint Published by East African Community (EAC) Design and layout MEDIA DESIGN Photo credits EAC Photo Service, GIZ Publishing date June 2014 EAC Headquarters 3 EAC Close P.O. Box 1096 Arusha United Republic of Tanzania Published by:

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