Women representation is to be increased in the realm of its policy makers and top legislatures and to achieve that, the East African Community (EAC) is finalizing a bill that will allow for the formalization of the long sought Gender policy.
The announcement was made by the EAC Secretary General, Dr Richard Sezibera yesterday in Dar es Salaam as he officiated the opening of a workshop on role of the private sector and civil society in the implementation of the common market.
In the individual countries, currently Rwanda has about 56.3% representation of women in government (the highest in the World) Tanzania 36.0%, Uganda 35.0%, Burundi 30.5%, and Kenya comes last with a mere 9.8%.
Dr Sezibera said that more has to be done with the community’s gender policy to make sure that women get top leadership post contrary to the current situation where the number is too low.
Expressing his disapproval with the current state of affairs, the Secretary General let it be known that he was not in the least bit “… happy with our youth and gender policy…” hi advise “…we need to push more for their representation…”
To achieve this initiative, he noted that the private sector plays a crucial role in the regions socio-economic integration since, in his opinion, the sector is the engine for growth and creation of wealth the basis to welfare improvement for East Africans.
He also outlined one of EAC’s policies as involvement of the public in its policy creation or in his words, “…a people centered system as well as a private sector driven community…”
Further, he explained the value of such a system urging the governments to ensure that its policies address the need of the people since they are the ultimate stakeholders of their own destinies and the nation’s.
Deputy Head of Mission of the German Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Hans Koeppel insisted that the implementation of the EAC common market protocol depends on the involvement of the private sector and civil societies.
He said while the EAC grows, it is important to make sure that all groups are taken on board including the private sector so as to ensure a people centered community.
Earlier, in her presentation on the status of the implementation of the Common Market, Mary Makoffu who is the Director, Social Sectors, EAC Secretariat called for EA partner states’ need to harmonize their academic qualifications especially in the sectors of accounting, legal procedures and the various disciplines of engineering.