Kagame presides over special EAC summit
Johnston Busingye appointed Principal Judge
KAMPALA - An East African Community (EAC) Summit held in Kampala Thursday highlighted progress on a comprehensive roadmap to integrate the two new partner states – Rwanda and Burundi – in its agenda.
The Seventh Extraordinary EAC summit, presided over by President Paul Kagame, the EAC Chairperson, and attended by the bloc’s other Presidents except Burundi’s Pierre Nkurunziza, kicked off late after the conclusion Wednesday of the historic Tripartite Summit.
“A number of items have already been discussed and I will be calling upon the Secretary General to take us through what has been discussed and the realised decisions,” said Kagame, who pointed out, among others, the appointment of new judges and the crucial roadmap.
As is stipulated in the report of the 18th extraordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers, a copy of which The New Times has seen, the roadmap looks at how best the two new States can be well integrated into the bloc’s organisational system and is deemed necessary for two reasons.
First being in order to provide the political visibility of Rwanda and Burundi to enjoy a presence at the executive level of the management structure, and second, to provide an allocation of professional staff positions in line with the principle of equal representation in staff recruitments.
The summit also announced the appointment of two new judges to the East African Court of Justice (EACJ), among others.
The two are Kenya’s Justice Benjamin Kubo and Uganda’s James Ogoola.
Also announced were some promotions in the bloc’s court, among which is Rwanda’s Johnston Busingye who was made a Principal Judge of the First Instance Division, from his earlier deputy position.
The bloc’s anthem and the awarding of cash prizes and certificates to winners of the EAC essay competition also featured on the agenda.
The summit resolved that the Council of Ministers listens to some three proposed anthems in a bid to ultimately come out with one.
Concluding the meeting, President Kagame pointed out that it had come at the right moment.
This was after some six Heads of State and many other very senior government representatives from the three regional groupings – COMESA, EAC and SADC met at the same venue and agreed on merging the three blocs into a single regional market.
“The summit has come at a time when there is urgency to deliver concrete benefits for our regional integration,” Kagame said, further reiterating the importance of regional infrastructure development as well as trade and investment.