By Maureen N Ntari

tumgroupTechnical University of Mombasa(TUM) has joined the sensitization process which is part of the EAC integration after the EAC ambassadorial team led by Fred Kahi ,the new EAC youth ambassador and Mrs. Phyllis Watwana the Assistant Director, Social Affairs from the Department of East African Affairs launched the first ever EAC club at their Campus in Mombasa on Friday.

“University students are a crucial arm of the society and cannot be assumed, thus this new Club ensures that we, the future leaders are on the frontline of the Integration process.”Fred gave this remark at the colorful event not experienced before in the sensitization exercise. The event was attended by the TUM students and graced by their Dean of Student Juliet Wanyonyi. Ms.Phyllis handed the EAC flag and IEC materials on Integration to the dean and the acting club officials’ which was received by the student with excitement that was contagious. The club and the students then shared a cake decorated with the colours of the EAC flag.

Ms.Phyllis noted that the youth forms a large segment of the population and hence there is the need for them to be equipped and prepared with the tactics and skills to take the opportunities being presented by the EAC, for the regional advancement.

“The East African states with the developing economies face a fierce unfavorable competition and thus the Integration is a wake-up call for us to pool our resources to enhance regional stability in the global economy,” Fred said. He challenged his fellow students to take charge and be the drivers of the EAC’s Integration process. He also outlined the importance of creating networks, and that the student Community was dedicated to ensure that the youth is at the forefront of the EAC integration agenda.

Ms.Phillis stated the significance of the four pillars of the EAC to the youth, namely: the Customs Union, Common Market, Monetary Union and Political Federation and the role of the youth in the EAC Integration. She highlighted the three freedoms and two rights provided under the common market protocol and its role in promoting the cross border trade.

Furthermore, Phyllis explained the implementation of the monetary union and its benefit in promoting trade. “The ultimate goal of EAC Integration is Political Federation. This will promote common policies, peace and regional security.Phillis challenged the youth to be analytical, practical and innovative in solving problems facing the society and to be well positioned in the creation of a peaceful dynamic business environment.

The EAC clubs are among the many ways that the State Department of East African Affairs is undertaking to ensure sensitization of the Integration process is effective. Besides the Integration process stands to benefit the youth more because of opportunities in the area of employment, trade, student exchange programs and more, hence youth sensitization is mandatory.