EAC-COMESA-IGAD Joint Programme to Improve Governance

EAC A two-day meeting of the Technical Committee of the Regional Political Integration and Human Security Support Programme (RPIHSSP) to review status of implementation of the programme by the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) namely EAC, COMESA and IGAD is taking place 11 – 12 February 2011 at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala, Uganda.

The EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Hon. Beatrice Kiraso opened the meeting which is being attended by Political Affairs, Conflict Early Warning, Migration, and Peace and Security Experts from the three RECs. Officials from the EAC Secretariat and the European Union Delegation (Dar es Salaam) are also in attendance.

Addressing the participants, Hon. Beatrice Kiraso said Political integration, good governance and human security were cross-cutting issues in regional integration. She reiterated that the overall objective of the RPIHSP is to support the three RECs political integration agenda with the aim of improving the political governance, transparency, democratization processes, security, stability, and sustainable development of the regions through strategic inter-regional cooperation.

Hon. Kiraso disclosed that the Regional Political Integration and Human Security Support Programme, being supported by the European Union is expected to enhance the capacity of national and regional statutory/watchdog organs and institutions such as the courts, legislative entities and oversight bodies such as the East African Legislative Assembly, the COMESA Inter-Parliamentarian Forum and the IGAD Inter-parliamentary Union; public sector service providers, taxation agencies, electoral commissions, anti-corruption agencies, immigration institutions as well as civil society, women and youth.

It will also enhance the capacity of the Secretariats of the three RECs in promoting good governance and human security and in coordinating and monitoring implementation of regional policies on governance and human security benchmarked to continental initiatives and commitments.

At its first meeting held in November 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya, the Technical Committee of RPIHSSP developed a joint regional work plan for the project and developed Terms of Reference for the joint research activities.

According to the joint work programme, the EAC is to take the lead in good governance issues. Specifically, among others, EAC is to commission studies to profile existing governance policies in Eastern and Southern Africa; undertake comparative analysis of RECs policies on good governance; and develop regional principles on good governance for adoption by the Policy Organs.

COMESA is to spearhead activities related to strengthening electoral/democratization practices in Eastern and Southern Africa and build capacity in regional institutions. COMESA will also profile governance policies in its member states, develop regional standards and guidelines for credible free and fair elections including the observation thereof and lastly enhance the participation of a wide range of stake holders.

IGAD will lead migration management by conducting baseline survey on migration management and population displacement issues and undertake a study on state of play on migration management.

The Kampala meeting is therefore reviewing status of implementation of the joint regional work plans and the developed ToRs for joint research activities.

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