The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has called upon East African Community partner states to use the inter parliamentary games as an opportunity to foster integration.
Kadaga said that the turn up in Kampala for this edition of the inter parliamentary games from across the region is a sign that the East African Community is people centered which was the goal at its inception 20 years ago.
“We are delighted that we are hosting these games on their 10th episode; and that we have people from Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania here to participate in big numbers. This is a sign that we are moving towards integration as a community,” she said.
Speaker Kadaga was speaking at the opening of the 10th edition of the EAC inter parliamentary games held at Parliament of Uganda on Sunday 8 December 2019.
The games that will run until 18 December 2019 have attracted four national parliament of Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Uganda, the hosts and the regional assembly, the East African Legislative Assembly, the tournament organisers.
Kadaga was happy to note that the disciplines have grown from only football to now include basketball, netball, volleyball, darts, athletics, golf and tug of war, which will be played out at various venues in Kampala and Wakiso.
She said that the inter parliamentary games are indeed an opportunity for talents to be spotted and to nurture growth in sports in the region.
She further encouraged players to enjoy, learn from each other, compare notes and be happy together.
“Learn from your failures in case you do not win so that next time you win,” she said.
The Chairperson of the National Organizing Committee of the games, Hon. Peter Ogwang said that the games were also meant to help EAC partner states deepen and widen the integration in the region.
The Chairperson of the EAC inter-parliamentary games, Hon. Gideon Gatpan, assured players that this year there will be a competition and disciplinary committee, to deal with any misunderstandings during the games.
“We should remain focused in our integration gender; these games are meant to create an atmosphere for all members and staff to bond and co-exist harmoniously; to create awareness to the public that we are all East Africans working and living together,” he said.
Representing the Speaker of EALA, Hon Mary Mugenyi, one of Uganda’s representatives to the Assembly, thanked Parliament of Uganda for the preparations and acceptance to host the games.
“These games are a reaffirmation of the integration across the community and an indicator to the citizens of East Africa that we are moving towards mutual cooperation across the states in the region,” she said.
Mugenyi said that these games have shown a marked improvement in strengthening relations between the Parliaments in the region.