Over 100 laws in the six East African Community Partner States national legislation need to be reviewed to conform to the EAC Common Market Protocol.
The EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Hon. Christophe Bazivamo noted that harmonisation of Partner States’ relevant national laws to conform to the Protocol was a monumental task that would require lots of time and resources.
Hon. Bazivamo said that the concerned laws relate to the provisions of the protocol, namely: free movement of goods; free movement of persons; free movement of labour; free movement of capital; free movement of services; right of establishment, and; right of residence.
Hon. Bazivamo said that despite these challenges, the Community had made significant progress in terms of promoting the cross-border movement of skilled labour and cited the signing of Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) among various professionals.
The DSG disclosed that MRAs had already been signed among Accountants, Architects, Engineers and Veterinarians.
“Negotiations of MRAs for Land Surveyors and Advocates were concluded and are awaiting signing by competent authorities. The negotiations of the MRA for Pharmacists have commenced,” said Hon. Bazivamo.
Hon. Bazivamo was speaking during a courtesy call by a team from the IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD) which is based in Nairobi, Kenya. The IGAD led by ICPALD Director, Dr. Solomon Muchina Munyua, was on a two-day benchmarking mission to the EAC Headquarters specifically on the Free Movement of Persons. The Mission also sought to understand the EAC policy position and practice on transboundary pastoralism and cross-border transhumance.
“The people of Eastern Africa share languages and culture across borders, for instance, the Digo, Maasai, Kuria and Luhya. Integration brings with it fears of the loss of jobs and resources. We are keen to learn from EAC on how it has managed to overcome these barriers,” said Dr. Munyua.