Home International News Africa Kenya´s Veronica Nduva sworn in as new EAC Secretary General

Kenya´s Veronica Nduva sworn in as new EAC Secretary General

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Veronica Mueni Nduva

The new East African Community (EAC) Secretary General, Veronica Mueni Nduva, took the oath of office on Friday evening at State House in Juba, Republic of South Sudan.

Nduva was sworn in during the 23rd Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the EAC Heads of State that was held virtually and chaired by Salva Kiir Mayardit, the Chairperson of the Summit and President of South Sudan.

Speaking after taking the oath as Secretary General, Nduva said that her tenure would be dedicated to promoting deeper integration and development of the people of East Africa.

Nduva said her key priorities would include strengthening economic integration that encourages innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation in addition to peace and security.

“Your Excellencies, in promoting peace and security, a secure East Africa is the foundation upon which we can build lasting prosperity,” said the SG.

Nduva, who is EAC’s first female SG, disclosed that advanced social development would also be a priority for her with special attention being given to empowering women and youth who are the backbone of the society in the region.

Infrastructure development will also rank high on the incoming SG’s agenda as she reiterated that the sector will require innovative financing solutions and strengthened public-private-partnerships (PPPs).

“To promote climate resilient growth, we will continue addressing the pressing challenges of climate change collectively as a region. This includes promoting green energy, sustainable agriculture, conservation efforts and resource mobilisation as a bloc,” she added.

The incoming EAC Secretary General, Ms. Veronica Nduva, with H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit, the Chairperson of the Summit in Juba shortly after she was sworn in as SG.

Nduva further singled out institutional strengthening for effective implementation of policies and programmes as another of her priorities, adding that enhancing inter-organ and inter-institutional coordination would be key to delivering on the mandate.

She pledged fidelity to the Treaty and said that it would serve as her guiding document throughout her tenure as Secretary General even as she promised to promote a culture of transparency, accountability and inclusivity at the Community.

Nduva replaces Dr. Peter Mutuku Mathuki who was recalled by the Republic of Kenya in March 2024 and redeployed as the country’s Ambassador to Moscow. Prior to her appointment as SG, Nduva was the Principal Secretary in the State Department for Performance and Delivery Management in the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary and Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs.

Nduva, an alumnus of the University of Nairobi (UoN), is an accomplished governance and public sector professional with a 24 years’ career spanning service in the Government of Kenya, EAC, US government and civil society.

She holds a BA in Political Science and Communication Studies from UoN. She also possesses vast experience in Human Resource Management and budgetary appropriations.

In his remarks, South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir Mayardit, said that the bloc was on the right track noting that intra-regional trade currently stood at 15pc and expressed hope that it would rise further with the recent admission of the Federal Republic of Somalia into the Community.

On the Monetary Union, President Kiir called for the fast-tracking of the East African Monetary Institute to provide guidance on the establishment of a single currency. On the Political Federation, the Summit Chairperson disclosed that South Sudan would be holding consultations on the EAC Political Confederation Constitution in July 2022 and urged Partner States that have not done so to expedite the consultations.

Noting that peace and security are key to economic growth, political stability and sustainable development in East Africa, the Summit Chairperson said that it was the collective responsibility of all Partner States to pursue just and equitable settlements to disputes and conflict in the region.

 The Chairperson of the Summit and President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, during the 23rd Ordinary Summit that was held virtually.
President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit

On his part, Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, underscored the need to eliminate Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) as they distort the region’s potential for trade. President Museveni hailed South Sudan for her upcoming consultations on the Political Confederation Constitution in July and urged other countries to follow suit so that the bloc can take the integration process to a higher level.

Speaking at the event, Samia Suluhu Hassan, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, urged the incoming Secretary General to focus on improving the visibility of the EAC and addressing the lack of shared perception of benefits of integration among East Africans, adding that some East Africans were even unsure of the fruits of integration.

President Samia singled out the challenges posed by climate change and urged the new SG to promote adaptation and mitigation to reduce the adverse impact of the phenomenon on EAC economies.

Mama Samia said that prioritising increased access to cleaner and affordable energy would enable the region to transition to cleaner and modern cooking solutions that would in turn deliver greater benefits in terms of emission reductions, forest preservation, protection of biodiversity, better health, increased productivity and gender equality.

Mama Samia observed that youth form a critical part of the EAC population, constituting more than 70pc or approximately 302 million people, adding that it was crucial that young people fully participate in the integration process and exploit the opportunities arising from it.

On his part, Rwandan President Paul Kagame hailed the directive by the Summit for the convening of a retreat of the EAC Ministers of Foreign and Regional Affairs to deliberate on the Report of the Consultative Meetings by the Chairperson of the Summit on Partner States’ Relations.

In his remarks, the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, said that his country would soon be sending Members of Parliament and Judges to the East African Legislative Assembly and the East African Court of Justice, respectively.

President Mohamud said that Somalia was also gearing for her integration into the Customs Union and the Common Market, the 1st and 2nd pillars of the integration process.

 

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