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Student  unions eye  active role  in EAC  integration

Student unions eye active role in EAC integration

STUDENT unions in the East African Community partner states have committed to work closely with the EAC Secretariat to amplify the voice of students in the regional integration process.

The student unions under the East African Students Union (EASU), an umbrella body encompassing national students’ organisations in the partner states, held its swearing in ceremony at the EAC Headquarters, with the student leaders being sworn in to take up their rightful positions within their respective student unions.

Speaking during the ceremony, the EAC Secretary General, Dr Peter Mathuki, who was the chief guest, commended the students for their zeal and interest in contributing towards the integration process.

“With youths constituting over 60 per cent of the community’s population, it is clear that the community belongs to the youth and thus the EAC is keen on involving them in policy and decision making,” said Dr Mathuki.

Dr Mathuki informed the students of the existence of the EAC Youth Policy that was adopted in August 2013, adding that the youth policy provides a binding framework for the effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation of youth programmes and projects.

“Article 102 of the Treaty establishing the East African Community articulates EAC’s commitment in supporting education and training and we are keen on students taking up their rightful role as active members of the society,” Dr Mathuki added.

The SG urged the student leaders to follow up on youth activities in the region such as the upcoming YouLead Summit slated for November 8th to 12th, 2021.

“The theme of this year’s YouLead Summit is, ‘The Future of Africa: Creating Jobs, Feeding and Housing the World’s Youngest Continent.’ It is important that the students also take part in this and contribute to the agenda,” said the Secretary General.

On his part, EALA Speaker Martin Ngoga commended the newly sworn-in EASU Executive Committee for conceptualising the idea of forming a regional students union keen on participating in regional issues.

“Leadership comes with great responsibility and you thus need to ensure that you utilise this opportunity to make positive change in the region,” said Ngoga.

EASU’s newly elected President Antony Manyara pointed out the challenges in cross border movement which have been heightened by the Covid-19 pandemic and also called for inclusion of youths in more activities by EAC partner states.

“A prosperous EAC is beneficial for us all. We as students have the time and energy of learning and understanding how the EAC works and are keen on supporting the regional integration process,” he said.

EASU’s Executive Secretary Joshua Mafabi said that the Union will also form regional students’ clubs with the aim of nurturing the vision of the EAC’s Founding Fathers.

“For the EAC integration process to reach to the grassroots, students have a huge role to play and we are keen on pushing for this,” he added.

The organisation comprises of the Uganda National Students’ Association (UNSA), Kenya Universities Students’ Organisation (KUSA), Burundi National Students Union (BNSU), Tanzania Higher Learning Institutions Students’ Organisation (TAHLISO), South Sudan General Students’ Union (SSGSU) and the Rwanda National Students’ Association and INTAGAMBURUNZWA National Coordination (INC).

Also present at the event was the EAC Principal Education Officer, Dr James Jowi.

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Author: DAILYNEWS REPORTER

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