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Youth participation is fundamental for the realization of East African Integration

  • In General
  • 28 Mar 2017 - 6:23pm
  • By Elias Tuhereze
  • 2,371
Makerere University Main Building

On 24th March 2017, students under the umbrella of Makerere University East African Community Students Association (MUEACSA) organized a Public Assembly under a theme Youth participation is fundamental for the realization of East African Integration.

Held in the Makerere University Senate Conference Hall, the Public Assembly aimed at creating awareness of the East African Community (EAC) integration process among university students and other stakeholders as well as discussing ways of engaging the youth in the East African integration process. Students also discussed ways on how youth can be empowered to be vibrant and significant in their communities.

A number of University students from East African States, representatives from Makerere University and the Government of Uganda and well wishers attended the Public Assembly.

 It triggered participating students’ zeal to go forth sensitizing their fellows on the East African Community Integration process, its benefits and challenges. As well, the Public Assembly sparked off the students’ courage to carry the banner and become ambassadors of the East African Community (EAC) integration process in their home countries.

Representing the Second Deputy Prime Minister of Uganda and Minister of East African Affairs,Hon. Kirunda Kivejinja, Mr. John Ngabirano-the Personal Assistant to the Minister for East African Affairs said structures should be put in place to attract youth engagement in peace building processes and security maintenance. According to Mr. Ngabirano, enhancing structures that promote the participation of youths in peace building and security protection will actively contribute to their engagement with decisions and activities that affect their wellbeing.

Mr. Ngabirano also mentioned that youth should be given a vibrant platform upon which they can fully mobilize and sensitize their fellow youth on matters concerning the integration process of the East African Community.   

“Theres is a need to fully involve the young people and utilize their potentials to ensure their effectiveness and relevancy in the regional and global economic development. The youth, constituting the biggest percentage of East African population, the East African Community (EAC) can become more feasible if it involves and empowers them into active participation in its deeds for social, economic and political development,” he said.

He applauded the work of Makerere University East African Community Students' Association (MUEACSA) as a fundamental tool in empowering youth in creating awareness on the role and importance of youth towards the East African Integration process.

Highlighting its significance, Mr. Ngabirano said that Makerere University East African Community Students Association (MUEACSA) is a place to be especially for intellectuals at the level of students. He reminded the students of their great obligation to the society and urged them to actively participate in the East African Community (EAC) activities and drive what their predecessors started with priority.

“The East African Community (EAC) is a very important initiative our current leaders have given to us. It is about our prosperity. East Africa has a future, it’s your future so you must therefore drive it and participate. We need relevant youths whom the Elders will empower, therefore, use this platform to identify you, get mentors and link up with the right people.” Mr. Ngabirano mentioned.

“However to succeed in this, you must be knowledgeable, informed, organized, useful and disciplined. Always remain relevant to your society and have a proper style of presenting yourselves if you are to influence others,” he added.

The President Makerere University East African Community Students Association (MUEACSA) Mr. Tsonga Joseph said that the Association has embarked on training responsible leaders of tomorrow and creating platforms for holding dialogues that are presented to the Cabinet. It has also established a foundation for future East Africa and leadership youth that will render important lessons and mentor roles to the young generation.

“Being a member in this Association presents you with direct linkage to East African authorities since the Patron of the Association is the Speaker of East African Legislative Assembly (EALA). We also have a linkage to the Minister of East African Affairs who can present our views to the Cabinet. We can socialize with others and have great exposure,” he said.

The International Students Coordinator, Mrs. Martha Muwanguzi Ngobi encouraged more students to register and join Makerere University East African Community Students Association (MUEACSA).

According to Mrs. Muwanguzi Ngobi, many students have received scholarships opportunities, invitations for summer schools, internship placements and job opportunities because of their membership to the Association.

“We make the Association visible through the actions we undertake. Our Association is recognized and honored by the Minister for East African Affairs. If we have a strong and functional East African Community Students Association at Makerere University, other universities will learn from us,” she said.

Currently, Makerere University East African Community Students Association (MUEACSA) has over 300 registered members from member states of East African Community (EAC). Members are expected to submit in their views, ideas and be willing to serve without discrimination. A number of platforms on social media have been put in place to be used by members to mobilize students and disseminate information about the East African Community (EAC) and its activities.

Story by: Charles Iga, Communication Volunteer

 

 

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