President Yoweri Museveni has urged the East African Legislative Assembly to force foreigners to develop the region by passing policies that will protect the region’s markets.
“We need to stop the importation of second hand clothes so that we can develop our textile industries,” said Museveni.
“When you buy second hand clothes, then you are promoting and improving the economy of the country that produces them.”
President Museveni urged the assembly and other organs working on the region’s integration process to work, support and fast track the East African political integration because it is important for the region’s strategic security and a guarantor of the future safety and security of the area.
Addressing the 5th session of the 3rd Assembly of the East African Legislative Assembly at Parliamentary buildings in Kampala, Museveni noted that just like economic integration is important for the economic prosperity of the region, political federation is very crucial for strategic security of the region as well as for guaranteeing the safety of the future generations especially against the emerging world giants who continue to compete for the limited world resources.
“Our current administrative structures are fragmented and very weak and we have no choice but to unite and safeguard our destiny. What will you do for example if a modern China, with its big population, becomes imperialistic in the future and want to occupy parts of Africa?” he wondered.
He said the community is wealthy with a population of 162 million including South Sudan which all national and regional legislators must know will create wealth if they are skilled, highly educated and
facilitated. He however noted that this huge population is however more interested in consumption than producing goods and services.
The Organization of Economic Development shows that Uganda imports goods worth 742 million from China, 600 million from Kenya which imports goods worth million US dollars like 928million from India
which he says it is over 15million US dollars from some middle East and Asian countries.
EALA Speaker Dan Fred Kidega said the assembly is optimistic that their successors in the next assembly will try to pass some of the policies that will foster economic integration and protection of the local markets.
He further commended Museveni for the support rendered to the regional assembly during the last five years. He, however, said that budgetary constraints had hindered the performance of the Assembly and appealed to all member states to ensure that they honour their obligations for the good running of the East African Community affairs. He thanked the members of EALA for their commitment to work that has seen the Regional Parliament pass 25 bills and debate 80 reports passing 63 key ones in the past five years.
The Speaker of Uganda ParliamentRebecca Kadaga, commended the excellent relationship that exists between the Ugandan Parliament and EALA. She commended President Museveni for sparing time to address EALA members all the time that the regional assembly has sat in Uganda. She said that this shows the President’s ardent commitment to the process of regional integration.