, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 19 – The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) members are set for a 10-day extensive tour of Kenya beginning Wednesday.
The tour which is supported by the Kenyan Government through the Ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism, will see the regional legislators tour projects and interact with various stakeholders in five counties.
The visit takes place in Mombasa, Kilifi and Nairobi counties in the first leg before winding up with a tour of Nakuru and Machakos.
It seeks to enable the East African Legislative Assembly appreciate the diversity of the people and the development initiatives that Kenya has to offer to the region.
The legislators shall also interact directly with citizens and hear their views, aspirations and fears on the regional integration process.
Legislators are also expected to get first-hand experience on devolved governments following the promulgation of the Constitution in Kenya in 2010.
According to the co-ordinator of the trip, EALA Member of Parliament (Kenya), Peter Mathuki, the visit shall enable the members to fully acquaint themselves with developments in Kenya and key integration issues.
“Article 5 of the Treaty envisages a people-centred integration. In this regard, we must enhance involvement of the people in deciding on the matters of the community. It is important for the Assembly to be in tandem with the needs of the people through structured interface and the working tour is one such avenue,” Mathuki stated.
At the Coast, the legislators shall visit the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and then call on the Mombasa County Government and the Kilifi County Government respectively.
In Nairobi, they will meet with a number of stakeholders including the top leadership of the Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project, Konza Techno City, Vision 2030 Secretariat as well as officials of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance and the East African Business Council.
They shall also visit the University of Nairobi’s School of Health identified as one of the EAC Centres of Excellence and hold interactive sessions with Parliamentary and Senate Committees and civil society groupings.
The lawmakers will then tour the Olkaria Geothermal station in Nakuru County and thereafter visit the Machakos County Government and make a trip to the Export Processing Zone and the Kenya Meat Commission in Athi-River.
In his address to the 3rd Meeting of the 2nd Session of the 3rd Assembly in November 2013, President Uhuru Kenyatta pledged his Government’s support for the Kenya tour.
Since, 2004, the Kenya Government has supported EALA Members to visit different parts of the country and to interact with the citizens while noting the progress that Kenya is making in the Integration process.
The tours were held in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.