By Ben Mwendwa
For. Public Communications Office
Pwani University played host to the outgoing Kenyan EAC Youth Ambassadors and State Department of East African Affairs staff for the launch of the first EAC Club in the Coastal region.
In a colorful event that marked the end of a one year robust sensitization on the youth involvement on EAC matters by the EAC Youth ambassadorial Team 2014/2015,a battery of students were excited to get an opportunity of understanding the great potential provided by the regional body.
The students were taken through the EAC integration process and their place in the regional integration agenda in line with their individual careers, and socio-economic development goals. This was clearly explained by Kamau Chege a Social Affairs Assistant Director who officiated the ceremony on behalf of the State Department of East African Affairs. Mr Chege accentuated the bountiful opportunities available across the region challenging the students to be go-getters in pursuit of the same through strategically placing themselves in readiness for the ready market offered in the OVER 140 Million populated community in the spirit of full implementation of the Common Market Protocol signed in July 2010.
The students were informed that as great constituents of the community their involvement was crucial and in line with the East African Treaty Article 120 (c) which provides for adoption of a common approach for involvement of the youth in the integration process through education, training and mainstreaming youth issues into EAC policies, programmes and projects towards the realization of a fully integrated Community.
The outgoing EAC Youth Ambassador Mr Robin Chacha challenged the students to actively participate in the newly established club which he identified as a training process towards skills and leadership development among others. He informed the students that the process of identifying Youth ambassadors was rigorous and required deep insights on the EAC integration agenda challenging the university to make sure they participated in the next group of EAC Youth ambassadors’ challenge. “The launch of this club, the first of its kind in the Coastal region marks a milestone towards our dream of a fully integrated Community” Chacha said. He thanked the EAC Affairs Department for the unwavering support which has seen the success of their term in office, with a plea to support their succeeding team to be unveiled in Kampala,Uganda later this month.
Jumuiya news learnt that the students had gained so much from the forum through an interview with Linus Obiero, a fourth year Maths/Physics student who seemed to have grasped the core of the club launched.” I have never known what East African Community is all about until today when I have heard about the Customs Union and the Common Market protocol. I was also so excited to learn there’s an East African Anthem. I can’t wait to see this club up and rolling. Obiero told Jumuiya news.
The Dean of Students Mr.Ronald Juma thanked the State Department of East African Affairs for choosing the Campus for such a noble initiative and undertook to ensure the club succeeded in spreading the integration agenda across the region. He challenged the students to first embrace inter-ethnic diversity as a precedence to embracing other states across the region. His sentiments were echoed by Mr. Charles Omollo, a student leader who had coordinated the forum.
As the curtains fall for the EAC Youth Ambassadors 2014/2015, a pace has been set through establishment of EAC Clubs in Maseno, African Nazarene, Dedan Kimathi University of Science and Technology, St. Paul and Pwani Universities. An EAC week was also carried out at the Moi University School of Law, as well as participation in the world aids day walk on 1st Dec 2014 just to mention a few.
The clubs launched have a membership of over 500 students. This number is envisaged to double in the year 2015/2016.