Kenyan leader calls for review of EAC treaty amid progress-Xinhua

Kenyan leader calls for review of EAC treaty amid progress

Source: Xinhua| 2023-03-17 23:57:30|Editor: huaxia

NAIROBI, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President William Ruto said on Friday that it is time to review the East African Community (EAC) treaty which was established nearly 25 years ago to conform to modern-day changes.

Ruto, who held talks with Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) Joseph Ntakirutimana in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, said the many developments that have taken place should be captured in the founding law.

He said the EAC started as a three-member bloc, comprising Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, but has since grown to seven members.

"Somalia is likely to join after an assessment is completed. There is also a possibility that Ethiopia and Sudan could join the EAC," he said in a statement issued by the presidency after the meeting.

The countries that have joined the regional bloc after its founding are Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Ruto, who lauded the progress which the EAC has made, pointed out that the bloc must, therefore, build enough capacity required by a huge regional bloc.

"It is time to look at the treaty, especially over languages used at the EALA. Of course, Kiswahili (the national language of Kenya and Tanzania) will continue playing a very big role in the assembly," the Kenyan leader said, noting that work has begun on the need to give the EALA financial autonomy like regional parliaments.

Ntakirutimana said the challenges facing the EALA include the lack of an autonomous budget and temporary staff.