By Michael Okidi
The Ministry of East African Community and Northern Corridor Development has lined up an intensive public sensitization programme that seeks to reach Kenyans at the County level with the East African integration information.
Organized under a 100-day Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) that runs into the month of August, the campaign targets various opinion and community leaders and opinion shapers whose networks reach the rural bases of every county.
“Since the EAC integration is supposed to be people driven, efforts at influencing public participation and ownership form part of our mandate as a Ministry,” said Cabinet Secretary, Peter Munya when he launched the RRI programme in Nairobi yesterday. Mr Munya noted that a number of Kenyans were unaware of what the EAC was all about, and were therefore unable to reap such opportunities as cross border trade and investment.
“It is now our duty to sensitize Kenyans on the opportunities available under the EAC integration and how they can tap such valuable chances as free cross border trade, movement, employment and education opportunities”,
The first phase of the Ministry’s RRI program will target members of County Assemblies who will be sensitized in clusters of counties at specified venues, with the first three clusters assembling in Kitale on 8 th and 9 th June.
Two other clusters will be sensitized in Mombasa on 15 th and 16 th June with the third cluster assembling in Kisumu on the weekend of 22 nd and 23 rd June to complete the first phase of the RRI. Mr Munya said it was important that the integration news, procedures and opportunities trickled down to the rural populace whose voices must be added to the choruses of contribution towards strengthening the integration agenda.
The Ministry’s Chief Administrative Secretary, Ken Obura, told the staff to be ready to get out of the comfort of their offices into the field to tell the EAC story to Kenyans.
“We must all be ready to spread the integration news, announce our presence to Kenyans and lead them into tapping into the opportunities available under the EAC regional bloc”, Mr Obura told the Ministry’s staff during the launch.
Similar sentiments were echoed by the Principal Secretary, Dr Susan Koech, who noted that a lot had already been achieved through the EAC integration process, but very little of which was in public knowledge.
“We must tell Kenyan the success stories around the EAC integration if they have to understand and appreciate the opportunities lying along the regional integration path’, she said.