Arusha — The minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, has stressed the need for enhanced integration of the region.
He said here on Monday after being sworn in as an ex-officio member of the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) that the EA integration was not a matter of choice.
"It is necessitated by geographical proximity, culture and regional geopolitics," he said in his brief address to the House currently in session in Arusha. He said Tanzania was committed to enhanced integration within the East African Community (EAC) bloc and that it would do its best to spearhead the exercise.
Prof Kabudi took an Oath of Allegiance as an ex-officio member of the Assembly by virtue of his position as the minister holding the Foreign Affairs and EAC docket.
The former Law don at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) was appointed to the position in March, this year, replacing Dr Augustine Mahiga who is now the minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs.
Prof Kabudi joined the Cabinet after being appointed the minister for Constitutional Affairs and Legal Affairs, a post he held until two months ago.
Until March, the Foreign Affairs docket was being held by Dr Mahiga, one of the country's outstanding diplomats. He joined President John Pombe Magufuli's government in December 2015.
Ministers responsible for EAC Affairs from all the six member countries of the bloc, the secretary general and the Counsel to the Community are ex-officio members of Eala.
Prior to joining the government, Prof Kabudi was the Dean of Faculty of Law at UDSM. For years, he was a board member of Mwananchi Communications Limited (MCL).
Speaking after the swearing in, Eala Speaker Marin Ngoga said Prof Kabudi was much experienced in regional integration issues and would be instrumental in the House deliberations.