National, News

Yakani tips regional Civil Society Organizations on integration

By Kidega Livingstone


East African Civil Society Organizations Forum (EACSOF) has been tipped to stand up and be counted in advocacy for issues of integration.

Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization, Edmund Yakani sounded the wake-up call to other members of the regional forum.

Yakani urged his fellow EACSOF to keep the flame burning, describing it as “the Communities of East Africa Community having higher hopes of integration in the continent.”

“We are not enemies of the East African Community governments; we are partners,” Edmund Yakani said.

He was speaking during the East African Civil Society Organizations Forum (EACSOF) Summit of 2024 in Tanzania on Thursday.

The summit, held under the theme “Harnessing EAC citizens’ potential and participation in regional integration processes,” successfully ended with a call for greater CSOs’ participation in the integration process.

Yakani appealed to all governments in the region to ensure free civil space for the achievement of an integrated East African Community.

He urged the East Africa Legislature Assembly (EALA) to enact a model law on CSO-Civic Space.

Edmond Yakani, a South Sudanese national, has extensive experience in managing and conducting training and research on security sector reform, governance, human rights, the rule of law, and gender.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Republic of Tanzania, Ambassador Steven Mbundi, reminded the CSOs that they are integral parts of the EAC treaty.

The minister assured CSOs that their work is critical for the community to grow. He said the EAC is one of the best communities in Africa with functioning organs.

Ambassador Mbundi called on CSOs to be effective and engaging through the secretary general’s stakeholder dialogue and bring the voices of EAC citizens to the center for a more inclusive integration.

Meanwhile, the speaker of EALA, Rt. Hon. Joseph Ntakirutimana thanked the CSOs for playing their role in the integration of the community through such summits.

He echoed EALA’s commitment to work with CSOs and partner states to ensure integration barriers are eliminated for the growth of the community.

Rt. Hon. Joseph requested that CSOs work for the good of the community. “Our dream is one. EAC must be a model of good governance in Africa,” said the speaker.

The CSO’s Summit was attended by more than two hundred participants from South Sudan, the DRC, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and Burundi.


Comments are closed.