Many East Africans are largely ignorant of the East African Community (EAC) programmes and opportunities. The EAC secretary general, Ambassador Liberat Mfumukeko, admitted on Saturday that the six-nation bloc has not done enough to make people aware of its affairs.
This calls for an aggressive approach to raise awareness if East Africans are to effectively tap into the opportunities it offers. There is so much to benefit from regional integration, but little is being done to prepare citizens.
Poor feedback from the EA Legislative Assembly (Eala) members is seemingly the cause of the unawareness.
The EAC has registered increased intra-regional trade – and we believe we can do better. Eala members should not relax; they have an obligation to raise awareness and enable the public to harness the integration opportunities. With a population of 170 million, the EAC has a huge potential for growth considering its abundance of resources and trade opportunities.
It is high time our legislators acted proactively to inform the public on EAC activities. By the time $450 million infrastructure projects are completed, it is our expectation that majority of the East Africans will be involved in various intra-regional economic activities.