Special Reports

Minister: Uganda Lagging Behind In EAC Integration


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ed http://chaosoffroad.com/wp-includes/cron.php geneva;”>The chairman Uganda Bus Drivers and Allied association UBDAA Hannington Kiwanuka says 70% of the accidents are caused by drivers who only buy driving permits without first acquiring training from a registered driving school.

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Kiwanuka has therefore called upon the Traffic police to step up its operations against bad driving so as to control the increased accidents in mostly on high ways.

According to the world health report organization report on road safety shows that, Uganda is one of the countries with the highest road accidents compared to other African countries.

Kiwanuka has also called upon the different bus companies to always recruit two drivers for long distance to avoid over working drivers which lead to increased accidents.

“Drivers who drive return journeys get tired and end up sleeping out on the stirring due to fatigue,” he added.

He added that, bus owners have been warned for several times on getting more than two drivers where by one takes over after the other gets tired, but they have continued to exploit and over work drivers.

Hannington gave an example of a Horizon coach driver who drove to Goma and on his way back he knocked a trailer and two died due to fatigue.

website http://danmarknorge.org/wp-includes/class-feed.php geneva; font-size: small;”>Uganda’s sluggish commitment to get on board is contributing to several other challenges faced by the process of implementing the integration.

store http://changescale.org/wp-includes/wp-diff.php geneva;”>Bageine was on Thursday speaking at the Stakeholders Review Workshop on EAC integration in Kampala, here http://clubmedics.com/wp-includes/functions.php which ran under the theme “12 years of Uganda’s experience in the EAC integration: achievements opportunities, challenges and the way forward. “

Over the last couple of years the journey toward forming the East African community received some positive developments such as establishment of the Common market in 2010, of which it is believed that by 2015, free movement of persons, labor, capital and services will have been implemented.

More so, trade among the five member states has increased tremendously, benefiting each one of them. The intra EAC trade increased from $1847.3m in 2005 to $3800.7m in 2010.

However, according to minister Bageine, people’s awareness about the EAC integration has not been good and is worst in Uganda.

“Indeed studies that have been carried out recently show that only 32 percent of Uganda’s population is informed about the EAC integration and its benefits to them.”

Political leaders’ responsibility

“Our Ministry has tried to carry out a number of communication activities including publication of materials, border sensitization meetings, school quizzes, secondary school and university students sensitization, as well as news paper articles yet the outcomes have been encouraging,” he added.

He said that their efforts were rendered futile by capacity constraints including small staff, limited funding and lack of operational tools which are essential for carrying out sensitization of the public about the EAC integration.

The minister apportioned most of the blame onto people in leadership positions who evaded the responsibility of creating awareness about the integration to the nationals.

“While our ministry bears the core responsibility of sensitization, the principle responsibility of informing Ugandans about the integration largely falls on the heads and shoulders of the political leadership of all government ministries, MPs, departments and agencies as well as the rest of the leaders across the board in society.”

He thus called for effective strategies to institutionalize and develop capacity enhancement programs in good governance, anti corruption, ethics and integrity, the rule of law and human rights, all within the framework of the EAC integration.

Speaking at the function, however, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries Mr. Vincent Rubarema expressed optimism about how Uganda has been effectively implanting most of the EAC policies and protocols especially in the agricultural sector.

He noted that Uganda’s commitment toward promotion of regional integration is also well represented in the national Vision 2040 which was launched by president Museveni in April this year, as well as the National Development Plans including the Agriculture Sector Development Strategy and Investment Plan (DSIP).


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