‘Difficult decisions’ needed for political federation success
East African Political Federation may not be realised unless countries manage to make difficilt decisions, including giving up some sovereignty, the out-going EAC Deputy Secretary General, Beatrice Kiraso said recently.
Uganda’s Kiraso who has been the deputy in charge of political federation was replaced by Kenya’s Dr. Julius Tangus Rotich.
“I was appointed by the Heads of State actually to fast track the process...on a serious note, you cannot want to integrate and also want to keep 100 per cent independence and sovereignty,” she noted.
Kiraso has held the position since 2006 and in her replacement; Uganda delegated Jessica Eriyo who has since been appointed as deputy in charge of Productive and Social Sectors.
The Secretary General is Rwanda’s Dr Richard Sezibera.
For the bigger common good to be attained, she added, something has to be given up.
“So we have a choice, to keep sovereignty over poverty, international inferiority and no voice even over our own destiny or to integrate and become a bigger entity, economically more viable and politically relevant, but also a bigger voice in the international arena and have something to offer—a bigger market, larger investments and higher income.”
In an interview, Kiraso outlined some ‘hard decisions’ that partner states will need to take to realise the federation.
The governments, she explained, will have to let go of their enormous powers over the integration process, and allow some more authority of decision making at the centre.
“The other is to make the process indeed people-centred as is enshrined in the Treaty—but now we see resistance when we bring other stakeholders to be part of this decision- making processes. It is engineered bureaucracy, tedious, time-wasting,” Kiraso noted.