Kenya’s Parliamentary Select Committee on Regional Integration held discussions with Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVB) Staff on matters consistent with East African Community Regional Integration Agenda. The visit to LVBC on 13th May, 2022 in Kisumu, Kenya was part of the Committee’s oversight mandate.
The main objective of the visit was to assess the status of the implementation of various regional projects and programs within the Commission with a view of evaluating the progress and identifying interventions aimed at furthering promoting the East African Community Integration agenda.
In his opening remarks, the Committee’s chair Hon. (Capt.) Ruweida Mohamed stated that the committee deemed it necessary to conduct an inspection and familiarization visit tour of LVBC, the only semi-autonomous institution/organ of the East African community located in Kenya.
The visit comes after the just concluded 21st Sectoral Council of Ministers Meeting (SECOM) that saw adoption and approval of the LVBC Strategic Plan (2021-2026) among other directives and decisions consistent with the Protocol for Sustainable Development of Lake Victoria Basin (2004).
The delegation was received by LVBC executive secretary Dr. Masinde Bwire who emphasized the importance of the interactive session between LVBC and the Parliamentary Select Committee, noting it is consistent with article 7 of the EAC Treaty which underscores a people-centered approach to regional integration. He also pointed out the discussions the committee members and the Commission staff operationalize article 71(f) on the ´dissemination of information on the Community to the stakeholders, the general public and the international community,’ (EAC Treaty, 2010).
Matters discussed included, but not limited to limitations in LVBC’s Host Agreement, LVBC Act 2020, the scope of LVBC mandate, the construction of LVBC Headquarters and financial resources mobilization for the success and sustainability of the EAC’s Commission based in Kenya.
On the latter, LVBC’s Executive Secretary commended the financial contributions from the EAC Partner States and Development Partners. He also shared with members of the select committee about the strategic importance of the Sectoral Council of Ministers for Lake Victoria Basin (SECOM), specifically the recently concluded 21st SECOM meeting held from 2nd up to 6th May 2022 in Kisumu, Republic of Kenya.
He solicited for the Committee’s guidance and policy influencing advantages by way of advocating for LVBC so as to unlock a few existing strategic and operational (institutional) constraints presented by LVBC Staff during the interactive sessions.
On his part, Hon. Ruweida assured the Commission on the Kenya national assembly’s support to all the legislations that are key to the implementation of the East African community integration process.
He further stated that the committee will push for the country to take up the assent of LVBC Act as one of the main agenda item before the EAC Summit is convened. Key deliberations from the interactive session between LVBC and the Kenya’s Select Committee on Regional Integration will be submitted to relevant organ(s) and levels in the Republic of Kenya for consideration.