By Christine Muchira/Release
Members of parliament from the East African Legislative Assembly have embarked on a mission to conduct civic education to members of the public on the essence of international cooperation.
The legislators Tuesday engaged residents of Isiolo County with calls for Kenyans to ensure that they are aware of the work being done by their representatives at the EALA and take full advantage of the business opportunities across the East African Community member states due to the ease of trade and travel as a result of legislation at the assembly.
The legislators led by Hon Judith Pareno who is the secretary of EALA-Kenya Chapter emphasized the need for nations to come together so as to be more attractive to investors.
She said that the assembly has already passed some laws that make it relatively easy for citizens of member countries to move across the nations for trade purposes, citing the just passed establishment of One Stop Border Post Bill as key to enabling people to cross borders with ease without having to be cross checked on several border posts.
The one stop border posts will be established at all strategic border crossing points between the EAC partner states. Hon Pareno said that the assembly passed the bill with the aim of boosting trade through efficient movement of people and goods within the community member states.
The common border posts designated as One Stop Border Posts within the EAC region include Namanga, Taveta/Holili, Lungalunga/Horohoro and Isebania/Sirari on the borders of Kenya and Tanzania, Busia and Malaba borders between Kenya and Uganda and Kanyaru/Akanyaru border between Burundi and Rwanda.
Members of the public had earlier downplayed the role played by the EALA, citing differences in the way member states handle citizens from neighbouring Countries, especially the fact that both Kenya and Uganda allow the use of national Identity cards to move across the border as opposed to VISA, while Tanzania is yet to agree to the same.
However Pareno assured them that it was only a matter of time before Tanzania joins the fray once they also introduce IDs that are machine readable.
The legislators have also conducted the exercise in over 20 counties including Marsabit and Laikipia.