President Yoweri Museveni last weekend said that East African countries that are ready to kick-start the political federation should go ahead and do so and the rest will follow.
The President made the remarks as he delivered a public lecture at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, at the conclusion of his three-day State Visit to the neighbouring Kenya.
Speaking to students and staff who had filled the university’s amphitheatre on the theme of ‘African Integration’, President Museveni said, “If some members are not ready for the political federation, let those who are ready go ahead rather than be paralysed.”
Referring to a Kinyankole proverb, the President said procrastinating on the matter would be akin to a hunter who waits for the whole animal to come out of hiding only to miss it whereas one who attacks it the moment it shows face, stands better chance of catching the animal.
A political federation is the fourth and highest form of integration, the initial stages being the Customs Union, Common Market and Monetary Union. At the last EAC Heads of State Summit in Arusha in February this year, the leaders tasked President Museveni to supervise a team of experts to work on the constitution of the political confederation. The team is expected to deliver a preliminary report by September this year.
The East African political federation, according to the EAC Treaty, will be premised on three pillars; common foreign and security policies, good governance and effective implementation of the three prior stages of integration.
At the Kenyatta University lecture, President Museveni, after giving a brief perspective of Africa’s history and civilization, took his attentive audience on a narrative of the Egyptian Civilization, through the age of slavery, to colonialism and the other maladies that Africa now faces like poverty and marginalisation, he posed the question, “How could a continent that was a first on all fronts now be the last and still going through the same calamities?”