Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has reaffirmed his support for the private sector’s representation in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).
He made the remarks recently in Entebe, Uganda, when addressing the newly appointed board of the East African Business Council (EABC) led by the new chairman, Gerald Ssendaula.
Speaking about the private sector’s role in the EAC integration process, Ssendaula said there was a need to include the private sector in EALA.
“The EAC integration process is people-centred and market driven – meaning that the private sector is at the heart of EAC’s strategy for accelerating regional growth, creating wealth and reducing poverty,” he said, pointing out that the private sector was eligible for EALA membership.
In his speech to EALA members, the Ugandan president backed the private sector’s representation in EALA and acknowledged the role played by it in facilitating the EAC integration process.
He said he would request the National Resistance Movement (NRM) to nominate a private sector person as one of its EALA representatives. The private sector has requested Museveni’s support in ensuring all partner states are involved.
Other issues discussed include a request to the president not to assent to the EALA East African Polythene Material Control Bill, which has ignored the private sector’s input. Other matters ranged from a need to address challenges like power, road and rail infrastructures to the implementation of the Common Market. Museveni stressed the importance of wealth creation by the private sector and urged the public sector to ensure regular consultation was done on all matters affecting the private sector.
The East African Business Council (EABC) is the apex body of business associations of the private sector and corporate from the five East African countries.
It was established in 1997 to foster the interests of the private sector in the integration process of the EAC. Originally, comprising members from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, its membership was expanded after 2007 to include the private sector from Burundi and Rwanda.