Kadaga preaches EAC gospel to UCU Community 

5 minutes, 10 seconds Read

The Second Deputy Prime Minister, Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga has committed herself to disseminating the information regarding the East African Community (EAC) to the local people in Uganda so that they can start appreciating and owning it.

Minister for East African Community, Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga (left) handing over the EAC flag to UCU vice chancellor, Assoc. Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi.

Kadaga, who doubles as the Minister for EAC said that for some time, Ugandans have not been fully involved in the matters of the community, a mentality she intends to change.

She made the remarks on Thursday June 22, 2023 while speaking to the students, management and the teaching staff of Uganda Christian University (UCU) main Campus in Mukono.

“This is one of our strategies for reaching the people of Uganda, though we do not have enough money for sensitization in our budget, we have decided to start with organized groups,” she said.

Some of the UCU students and members of staff who attended Kadaga’s session.

Kadaga said that the relationship between the original three East African countries of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania more especially in trade started way back in 1917 when Kenya and Uganda established the first customs arrangements. She added that in 1922, Tanganyika joined, meaning the three countries have been together for over centuries.

“We also have security interests in the region, sometimes I hear people saying, what are we doing in Somalia, but you know pirates in the Indian Ocean affects the hinterland, what happens in DRC affects us. That’s why we have the Eastern Regional Standby force, which is doing a good job in the DRC which is composed of peacekeepers from all the East African countries,” she said.

Kadaga in a group photo with some of the UCU administrators and the guild leaders.

Kadaga however showed dismay saying the freedom of movement within the member countries is not yet at it’s best.


“We have good will by the member countries’ presidents but down, there is bureaucracy and the mind-set of the population which is not yet good in regards to the EAC. It’s still one of the difficulties we have,” she noted.

The EAC Minister added: “Last year, I sent a delegation of young people to go to the assembly in Arusha, but when they reached the border, things did not go on well; they were separated, Tanzanians, Ugandans and the rest. This was uncalled for, because the students had passports of East Africa! But students had a lot of trouble yet we had arranged for them to have sessions in Arusha.”

She also recalled recently when she decided to drive from Arusha to Nairobi saying though she did not find any hardship in Tanzania, when she reached Kenya, things did not go on well as she was asked a lot of unnecessary questions despite showing them her passport introducing her as the EAC Minister.

“It’s therefore unfortunate that the will of the top most leaders about the EAC is not getting down to the population,” she said.

She therefore suggested that there is a lot of need to sensitize the people including those working in different top government positions, security and the local people in the member countries about the EAC so that they can start appreciating it and its cause.

Kadaga raised the issue of one area network of which Burundi and Tanzania have not subscribed to for the last 15 years, making it so expensive to make a phone call from Tanzania to the rest of the EAC countries.

“Still in Tanzania up to now, Ugandans cannot use their National IDs to travel yet it can easily be done in Kenya, Rwanda and Sudan. Those and more are the things we want to be addressed as we continue aiming at the best for EAC,” she said.

She also showed dismay to the fact that the trade within the EAC countries is less compared to the rest of the countries abroad saying with time, they want that addressed based on the comparative advantages.

The students pointed out a number of things which are still hindering the smooth running of EAC saying if not addressed; it will continue being a white elephant.

Joseph Tenywa, a second year law student said it’s unfortunate that it’s now 18 years when Uganda made Swahili its second national language but not even a quarter of the population can neither speak nor understand it.Ivanither speak nor understand it.Ivan Nkoyoyo said showed concern for Uganda for having failed to pass the Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) law yet Uganda passed it and that GMO products processed from Kenya are being smuggled to Uganda.

Andrew Okragy showed dismay saying that in Uganda, the EAC is only kept in the minds of top leadership mostly politicians.

“To make matters worse, even the Member of Parliament we send to the EAC Parliament will never take the effort to popularise it to the local people!” Okragy said.

 He added that as a law student, he is aware that when someone studies law from Kenya, when he comes back to Uganda to practice, he or she will have to work under supervision of a senior lawyer for a full year before he independently starts practicing.

Kadaga said that such ideas are the reasons why she decided to leave office to move around not only preaching the EAC gospel but also getting the views from concerned Ugandans.

On the issue of Swahili language, Kadaga said they started with teaching the Ministers and Members of Parliament, which is done every Monday for the members of the cabinet adding that the judiciary also studies Swahili once every week.

“We are planning to have it taught from primary schools up to university and it will be examinable. But we have 62,000 primary teachers in Uganda, implying one teacher per each school yet we want at least a teacher per each class. We are soon achieving our target,” she said.

The UCU Vice Chancellor, Assoc. Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi appreciated Kadaga for the move to popularise the EAC gospel to the local people in Uganda.

Let others know by sharing

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!