11 February 2013

East Africa: Kenya Launches New EAC Integration Strategy

Kampala — In a move aimed at creating awareness about the East African Community (EAC) integration process amongst youth in higher institutions of learning, the Ministry of EAC Kenya (MEAC - Kenya) has taken the campaign to Facebook and Twitter.

Dubbed 'Connect Vuka Border' the EAC Inter-University Social Media Campaign is geared towards awareness creation of the EAC Integration, its benefits and opportunities and also to encourage students to support the process.

The campaign kicked off in Kenya where 14 Universities debated issues relating to challenges in employment, trade and free movement of people in the partner states.

Egerton University emerged winners and have embarked on an awareness tour in the five partner states.

Speaking to the Press at the Uganda Media Center last week, Mr. Chege Kamau, the Assistant Director at MEAC - Kenya, said that a study that they carried out revealed that the level of awareness about the EAC was almost non-existent and hence the need to identify a platform that could appeal to the youth.

"Over 85% of Kenyan university students use Facebook and engaging the university students and the dons will go a long way in helping us with research and developing new ideas from an informed point of view.

We have tasked the students to come up with an EAC Club as well as an EAC Week in which activities will be geared towards the integration process," Kamau said.

The winners of the Social Media challenge from Kenya's Egerton University have been on a week-long tour of the EAC partner states where they made presentations and met students from the Kigali Institute of Science and technology in Rwanda, the University of Burundi as well as the Kampala International University (KIU) Uganda.

Kamau also added that the ideas that will be debated on the platform do not remain on the social network but are forwarded to the EAC Secretariat in Arusha.

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