Rt. Hon. Abdirahin H. Abdi – EALA speaker

The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) officially opens its sessions this afternoon. High on the agenda will be a debate on accounts for 2010/11 followed by Inter-University Council of East Africa (IUCEA) Bill tomorrow, a piece of legislation that seeks, among others, to create a regional body to accredit universities in the region.

By drafting the Bill, proponents believe that EAC has inched closer to harmonising and standardising their university education systems, potentially boosting student access and mobility.

In its recent sitting in Bujumbura, the Council of Ministers requested to study the Bill further after some members raised objections that if passed in its current form, the legislation would create a parallel system of accreditation since each partner state has an accreditation body charged with such responsibility.

Disputing reports that members had rejected the Bill, EALA spokesperson Bobi Odiko said: “EALA wishes to re-state that the Bill has not been rejected and remains on course. It is EALA’s business and in its best interest to enact progressive legislation that contribute to the strengthening of the regional integration process.”

On the agenda
The position of the matter is that the Council of Ministers through Musa Sirma (now chairperson of the Council of Ministers) preferred an adjournment of debate on the Bill, requesting more time to consult and have more comprehensive input on it.

While the details remain scanty, Mr Odiko told Daily Monitor that yesterday, EAC deputy secretary-general Beatrice Kiraso will also brief members (most likely on the implementation of the Common Market Protocol and the need to speed up integration) before the afternoon session.

The Assembly, to be presided over by the speaker, Mr Abdirahin Abdi, shall during the two-week period discuss matters of legislative business, EAC Trans-boundary Ecosystem Management Bill 2010 and the EAC Polythene Materials Control Bill.
The Assembly will also receive and consider reports from various committees and motions and questions brought before the House.

By YASIIN MUGERWA, Daily Monitor\

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