The Ministry of EAST African Community Affairs (MEACA) has rolled out a campaign to raise awareness on benefits and opportunities of EAC regional integration.
The campaign dubbed “Karibu East Africa” set to be rolled out in the five languages of English, Luganda, Runyakitara, Luo and Ateso will highlight how citizens can tap into the available opportunities.
Speaking at the stake holder’s meeting on Tuesday. The State minister for General Duties at the office of the Prime minister, Prof Tarsis Kabwegere, said statistics from a survey carried outin 2013 showed that 32 percent of the general public respondents were not aware of the East African Community integration and stakeholders were at 16percent.
“The awareness campaign is a powerful demonstration of our determination to take EA to the people of Uganda to stimulate effective participation and the reaping of associated benefits,” Kabwegyere said.
He went ahead to highlight how the Intra-EAC trade has benefited Uganda by enabling it to diversify the export base from predominantly agriculture products to industrial goods which has helped the country earn foreign exchange and create jobs for the unemployed. “The Intra – EAC trade grew by 53 percent between 2005 and 2013 and the time taken to move goods from Mombasa to Kampala has reduced from 21 days to 5 days” He added.
Ms Edith Nsajja Mwanje, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary said citizens need to be sensitized in order to appreciate the purpose, benefits and challenges of EAC integration.
“We will work with several stake holders like the Media, youth initiatives, and patriotism clubs to ensure that the whole country is aware of the benefits of the integration”
Some of the activities of the campaign include mass media campaigns, music competitions, and theatre drama and stakeholder meetings.