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East Africa gets parliamentary training centre

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East Africa keeps on making gains. The East African Community (EAC) has acquired a regional parliamentary institute (EAPI). Launched on last Friday by the Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) Martin Ngoga, the training facility is expected to harness capacities and narrow the skills gap of parliamentarians and staff in quest to further strengthen the integration process. The training center will be located in Kenya.

Speaking at the official launch, Ngoga, underlined the significance of the institute in East Africa, highlighting it would accelerate regional  integration and provide a valuable bond between people within  East Africa and beyond. The opening of the EAPI follows the enactment of the East African Parliamentary Institute Bill, 2011, which provides for the legal framework of its establishment.

The EAPI Act, among other things, establishes a mechanism for capacity and skills development to promote professionalism through establishment of the institute. The speaker praised the EAC Heads of State for validating the Bill, whose operationalisation now sets basis for motion of the objectives of the Institute.

The idea for EAPI was initially mooted in 2001 as a joint venture between the State University of New York (SUNY), the National Assemblies of the Partner States and EALA as well as the United States International University (USIU) and initially funded by FORD Foundation.

As accepted by the leaders of the EAC, parliaments from across the bloc are expected to provide the necessary funds for the institution, a move hailed as key in its sustainability.

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