PUBLISHED ON September 15th, 2014

Annual EAC Secretary General’s forum for private sector, civil society and other interest groups opens in Entebbe on Friday

Arusha — Uganda’s Minister for East African Community (EAC) Affairs Hon. Shem Bageine will officially open the annual EAC Secretary General’s Forum for Private Sector, Civil Society and Other Interest Groups at the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel on Friday, 12th September, 2014.

This year’s theme is: “EAC: My Home, My Business”.

Over 100 delegates from the Partner States are expected to attend the two day event; the third in series since 2012. The first was held in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania, and second was last year in Nairobi, Republic of Kenya.

The delegates will be drawn from the Partner States’ Private Sector Organizations (PSOs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), professional bodies, academia/universities, media, EAC organs and institutions, development partners and other interest groups.

The EAC Deputy Secretary General (in charge of Productive and Social Sectors), Hon. Jessca Eriyo, said that the Forum’s objective was to provide a platform for regular dialogue between the EAC Secretary General and the Private Sector, Civil Society and other interest groups on how to improve the EAC integration process.

“The 3rd Forum is an opportunity to widen and deepen EAC integration process and ensure stakeholder participation and inclusivity,” according to Hon. Eriyo.

She added:”The Forum will provide a space to dialogue on opportunities and challenges provided by the Regional integration process as well as share experiences.”

Professor Yash Tandon from Uganda, a renowned intellectual and policy-maker among others, will give a key note address on the Forum’s theme. Prof Tandon is the former Executive Director of the South Centre; a think tank founded by leaders of the South, among them China, India and Brazil. Tanzania’s Founding President Dr Julius Nyerere was the first Chairman of the Centre.

Other papers to be tabled at the Forum include: “Post 2015 EAC Development Agenda”;”The Rights and Freedoms under the EAC Common Market Protocol”; “Food Security,Climate Change Mitigation and Adaption” and; “Enhancing the Competitiveness of the EAC”, among others.

The Forum’s Regional Dialogue Committee has been working hard for over five months to ensure the success of the Conference.

The Forum’s symbolic kick-off is tomorrow, Thursday 11th September, 2014 with a community service and sensitization at the Nakiwogo Market, Entebbe.

Later delegates and members of the public will engage in cleaning up exercise of the Market. A voluntary HIV/AIDS counseling and testing will also be conducted; courtesy of the Entebbe Municipal Health Department.

The East African Business Council (EABC) is tasked to lead organization of this year’s Forum.

Note to Editors

The Dialogue Framework Forum for Private Sector, Civil Society and other interest groups in the EAC integration process was endorsed by the EAC Council of Ministers at its 26th meeting in November 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Forum is guided by the principles of cooperation for mutual benefit, trust, goodwill, active and constructive participation, inclusivity and respect for diverse views.

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