The East African Legislative Assembly (Assembly) is an organ of the East African Community; established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.
The Treaty was signed on 30th November 1999 and entered into force on 7th July 2000 by the Partner States of The Republic of Uganda, The Republic of Kenya; and the United Republic of Tanzania. The Republic of Burundi and the Republic of Rwanda acceded to the Treaty on 18th June 2007 and became full members on 1st July 2007, thus expanding the number of the Community Partner States to five.
Under the Treaty, the Assembly has a Membership comprising nine members elected by each Partner State; ex-officio members consisting of the Minister or Assistant Minister responsible for the East African Community Affairs from each Partner State; the Secretary General and the Counsel to the Community. Currently, the Assembly has 45 elected Members; and 7 ex-officio Members totaling to a Membership of 52. Twenty of whom are female.
The Assembly has a cardinal function in the furtherance of Community objectives; this function encompasses the legislative, representative and oversight mandate. Article 49 of the Treaty stipulates that the Assembly shall:
· be the legislative organ of the Community;
· liaise with the National Assemblies of the Partner States on matters relating to the Community;
· debate and approve the budget of the Community;
· consider annual reports on the activities of the Community, annual audit reports of the Audit Commission and any other reports referred to it by the Council;
· discuss all matters pertaining to the Community and make recommendations to the Council as it may deem necessary for the implementation of the Treaty;
· may for purposes of carrying out its functions, establish any committee or committees for such purposes as it deems necessary;
· recommend to the Council the appointment of the Clerk and other officers of the Assembly; and
· make its rules of procedure and those of its committees.
· The Assembly may also perform any other functions as are conferred upon it by the Treaty.
The Treaty bestows upon the Assembly the authority to establish any committee or committees for such purposes as it deems necessary. Currently the Assembly has established the following Committees:
· the House Business Committee;
· the Accounts Committee;
· the Committee on Legal, Rules, and Privileges;
· the Committee on Agriculture, Tourism and Natural Resources;
· the Committee on Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution;
· the Committee on Communication, Trade and Investment and
· the Committee on General Purpose.
These Committees are charged with the responsibility of overseeing implementation of the provisions of the Treaty and the EAC Development Strategy in the special areas of cooperation that fall under their respective ambit. It is through these Committees that the bulk of the Assembly’s work is executed. In essence, they are the technical arm of the Assembly and as such play a significant role in the final decisions taken by the Assembly
Vision of the Assembly
The Vision of the East African Legislative Assembly is to be: An effective and independent Regional Parliament.
Mission of the Assembly
The Mission of the East African Legislative Assembly is: - To legislate, do oversight and represent the people of East Africa in a bid to foster economic, social, cultural and political integration.
Core Values of the Assembly
The Assembly is committed to fostering the following core values in its operations:
· Ethics and Integrity;
· Transparency and Accountability;
· Objectivity and Impartiality;
· Professionalism and Team Work;
· Unity in Diversity;
· Allegiance to EAC Ideals