By Michael Okidi – Public Communications

 DSC3891The State Department of East African Community (EAC) Integration this year participated at the Kisumu Regional Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) Show that ran from 25th to 31st July, 2016.

As usual, the event provided an opportunity for the State Department to sensitize members of the public on the EAC integration process, the opportunities for trade across the region and border crossing procedures under the Common Market concept, among others.

Facilitators

Officers from the State Department who participated at the show included:

  1. Mr Peter Chege
  2. Mr Hezron Momanyi
  3. Mr Timothy Mueller
  4. Ms Rose Wakibia
  5. Mr Michael Okidi
  6. Charles Tumbo
  7. Ms Jenta Muruka
  8. Mr Kibet DSC3918

Show Attendance/Visitors to the Stand

The State Department’s participation at the show recorded remarkable success, with curious members of the public engaging the technical officers on healthy discussions about the integration process. Notable was the interest from teachers and students, with at least 17 groups of students from various schools visiting the stand during the six day event.

Though the general public attendance at the show was not very high, several schools in Nyanza and Western regions ferried their students to the show, hence providing a perfect platform for the technical officers from the State Department to sensitize the students on the integration process.

 DSC3872Among members of the public who visited our stand included farmers and businessmen, most of whose enquiries bordered around cross border trade and investments, the Migingo Island controversy, etc.

Key Issues raised by the public

Members of the public and groups of students who visited the stand were all curious about the benefits accruable from the EAC integration, and how they could enjoy such benefits.

Among the major issues around which public enquiries rotated included:

  • How the Common Market works in regard to free movement of persons
  • Use of travel documents for border crossing like ID cards DSC3969
  • Education and training opportunities in the other Partner States
  • Fears that the United Republic of Tanzania is imposing too many restriction on Kenyan cross border traders
  • The issue of the Standard Gauge railway and the Lamu oil pipeline
  • Work permits and why some EAC Partner States are strict on Kenyan job seekers
  • Fears that a single currency would be bad for Kenya’s economy
  • Crisis in South Sudan and whether its admission into the EAC may disrupt regional stability
  • The Migingo Island controversy and why there seems to be no solution in sight