Civil Society forum on EAC goes for a strong, people centred integration

The Tanzania Civil Society Forum on the EAC held in Arusha has come up with concrete resolutions calling for a strong and people centred regional integration.

 While concluding the two-day forum on 27 November, organised by the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS), participants of the forum unanimously called on all the parties to ensure the formation of a strong regional integration that is people centred, and run by the people.

 The Tanzania civil society forum on the EAC also reached a resolution with regard to the position of Tanzania in the East African regional integration. The forum also unanimously wanted to see Tanzania taking a leading role as “champions” for the realisation of a strong integration that is people centred and led by the people.

 “Even if we are to look back at the history, Tanzania was the main country in the region that took the leading role towards the formation of the previous EAC that unfortunately collapsed in 1977. Therefore, there should be no hesitation for Tanzania to re-assume our key role as “champions” behind the formation of a new and stronger EAC integration,” said one of the forum facilitators, Dr. Kitila Mkumbo from the University of Dar es Salaam.

 In another rejoinder, Dr Azaveli Lwaitama, who also facilitated a session in the forum said: “If we are to go for a strong integration, we need a robust political federation so as to check on all the other imbedded processes towards the full integration, such as the Customs Union, the Common Market and Common Currency.”

 “For us as the civil society, our role should be to act as champions to facilitate discussions and dissemination of education in the grassroots - calling for the formation of a strong, people centred integration that we want,” concluded Mr. John Ulanga, the Executive Director of the Foundation for Civil Society.

 The forum had invited 130 participants (30 from other East African member states) with the theme: “The role of CSOs in strengthening East Africa Regional Integration.”

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