THE Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly, Dr Margaret Zziwa, has said the East African Community was proud to call Arusha its permanent home and lauded Tanzania for being a potential investment destination in the region.
Speaking during the third meeting of the first session of EALA's 3rd Assembly, which was addressed by the Tanzanian head of state, Dr Zziwa praised President Jakaya Kikwete's government for making extra efforts in ensuring that Tanzania played a pivotal role in the process of integrating the five-state community into a cohesive regional bloc.
"Your Excellency, I am glad that you continue to offer wise counsel to EALA on how to strengthen the integration process and wish to register my deepest appreciation for hosting my delegation and myself at the State House in Dar-es-salaam last September where you advised us in highlighting our role in legislation for EAC integration," said the Speaker.
"It needs to be recorded in the annals of history that during your time as head of state your government offered all the resolute support to make this possible," stated the EALA speaker who led the entire August house to give the Tanzanian leader a standing ovation.
Dr Zziwa, who has made history for being the first female speaker to lead the regional parliament, also took time to thank the former President of Tanzania, Mr Benjamin William Mkapa who issued the plot on which the new East African Community complex now stand.
But speaking about EALA, the speaker stated that laws enacted by the regional assembly were legendary in contributing to significant and positive change in the lives of more than 130 million ordinary residents of East Africa region.
President Kikwete praised Dr Zziwa for being the first female speaker of the EALA and used the occasion to remind the house that Tanzania, Uganda and the East African Community have shown the way in appreciating the role of women in leadership because the three entities had female speakers.
The Speaker of the Tanzania's National Assembly Ms Anna Makinda was present during the EALA session which also recognized (in her absence) Uganda's parliament Speaker Ms Rebecca Kadaga. According to President Kikwete, Ms Makinda, Ms Kadaga and Dr Zziwa have helped to revolutionize the gender set up of the National and Regional Assemblies in East Africa.