April 30th, 2024

Leveraging Synergies to Strengthen Civil Society Participation in the EAC Regional Economic Integration Process (GIZ)

On 24 April 2024, EAC-GIZ and the East Africa Law Society (EALS), marked the beginning of a strategic partnership and collaboration to foster Civil Society Organisations’ (CSOs) participation in the EAC regional economic integration process. As a significant milestone, the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalise this partnership.

The signing ceremony, hosted at the EAC-GIZ office, was attended by Mr David Sigano, Chief Executive Officer, EALS; Mr Bjoern Richter, Cluster Coordinator, EAC-GIZ; Mr Marius Weist, Component Lead, Organizational Development and Outreach, EAC-GIZ,among other key representatives from EALS and EAC-GIZ who are experts in the civil society engagement field. Mr Marius Weist officially welcomed the EALS team and emphasized the significance of close collaboration towards achieving a common goal, which is creating impacts for East Africans through the integration process.

In his opening remarks, Mr Bjoern, the Cluster Coordinator at EAC-GIZ, provided insights into the diverse areas of focus under the EAC-GIZ Programme, ranging from trade initiatives such as Trade in Services (TiS), Trade in Goods (TiG), and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to sectors like education, health, and organizational development. The Cluster Coordinator highlighted that this MoU is an initiative that further expounds on the efforts to foster empowerment of CSOs, especially in the engagements of topics that are of high significance and relevance to push the integration agenda forward. Further, he underscored the importance of constantly showcasing the joint success and impacts of this partnership.

On his part, Mr. David Sigano, the EALS Chief Executive Officer, representing the EALS President, highlighted the areas of focus and ongoing initiatives undertaken by EALS on this topic. Further, he expressed willingness to jointly embark on this journey through collaborative efforts with shared objectives.

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Some goals agreed upon by the two parties to foster CSO engagement in regional economic integration include:

  • Capacitating CSOs through targeted training interventions.
  • Providing technical assistance for CSO-led policy engagement project initiatives.
  • Promoting advocacy and awareness campaigns on regional economic policy development and;
  • Facilitating knowledge sharing and dialogue among civil society stakeholders.

EAC-GIZ and EALS anticipate strengthening civil society participation and amplifying their voices by leveraging synergies and resources to drive positive change and advance the EAC's regional economic integration policy and decision-making processes.

Stay tuned for more information on this partnership!

Find more information on EAC-GIZ support to Gender, Community Development & Civil Society Mobilization here.