THE envisaged East African political federation has been touted as paramount to the craved regional economic development.
EAC political federation is the ultimate goal of the ongoing regional integration, the fourth step after the Customs Union, Common Market and Monetary Union.
National consultations for the EAC Political Confederation draft constitution have taken place in Uganda and Burundi so far, and EAC Secretary General, Ambassador Liberat Mfumukeko insists the federation is the best route for accelerating economic development for all.
Ambassador Mfumukeko, speaking at the Presidential Palace in Ngozi, Burundi after EAC Constitutional Experts held private consultations with President Pierre Nkurunziza, stressed on the importance of the EAC attaining a Political Federation.
According to the ambassador, forming the federation would enable the region to move away from least developed to an economically sound bloc in the shortest possible time.
The consultations at national levels led by Chairperson of the Team of Constitutional Experts, Dr Benjamin Odoki, retired Ugandan Chief Justice (CJ) were concluded in Burundi on Monday.
The team held the first National Stakeholders Consultations for drafting the EAC Political Confederation Constitution in Uganda in November 2018, a forum that also served as the launch of the process.
"A Political Federation is imperative in this global environment," said Ambassador Mfumukeko, adding that for a federation to survive there must be an environment that enables people to participate in an accelerated economic development process.
With President Nkurunziza, the team conducted a closed-door meeting marking the start of the National Stakeholders' Consultations for drafting the EAC Political Confederation Constitution in the Republic of Burundi.
Other forms of consultations include public hearings, whereby in Burundi were held in Ngozi, Gitega, Makamba and Bujumbura; online, such as the EAC website and social media platforms.
In attendance to the consultations were governors of Makamba, Rumonge and Rutana.
The experts were also in session with the Burundi Senate at Gitega to collect their views on confederation, cooperation area, decision making, confederation authority, and adoption of Constitution, governance structure, governance principles and funding the confederation.
The objective of the consultations, both public and private is to obtain stakeholders' views on their interests and other key issues that would better inform the drafting of a model Political Confederation and subsequently a Confederation Constitution in line with the principle of a people-centred Community.
They are also expected to enhance awareness on the ongoing Constitution making process, as well as prepare the public in general to give their input into the draft Constitution once it is drafted.
In February 2018, the Summit through the Council of Ministers constituted a team of 18 Constitutional Experts and Legislative Draftspersons to draft a Constitution for the Political Confederation.
Each partner state nominated two constitutional experts and a legislative draftsperson to the panel.