Ministers responsible for Education, Science and Technology, Culture and Sports in the region have adopted the revised draft Inter University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) Bill, 2012. The Ministers were in Kigali, Rwanda for the 1st Extraordinary Sectoral Council on Education, Science and Technology, Culture and Sports.
The meeting kicked off from November 5-8 and was chaired by Hon. Ababu Namwamba, Kenya’s Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports considered among others, the draft IUCEA Bill that proposes to enact a new Act on the Inter-University Council for East Africa, 2012; plans to operationalize the East African Science and Technology Commission and East African Kiswahili Commission; as well as matters regarding Mutual Recognition Agreements that various professional bodies are currently working on to facilitate movement of labor and trade in professional services.
The draft IUCEA Bill the ministerial meeting passed was prepared to remedy anomalies and inconsistencies highlighted in the IUCEA Act (2009) following a comprehensive review of the same.
The Act in question, which the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) enacted in 2009, was meant to effectively mainstream the Inter University Council for East Africa into the EAC but its operationalization has met with a number of challenges because some of its sections do not augur well with the EAC Treaty, the institutional position of IUCEA in the Community, as well as with new developments in the provision of higher education.
The new Bill that aims to repeal the IUCEA Act 2009 will now be forwarded to the Council of Ministers—the EAC policy-making organ—for approval.
At the same meeting, the Ministers considered and adopted the proposed budget of US$ 1,894,400 for the initial operationalization of the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO) and another US$ 2,009,041 for the initial operationalization of the East African Kiswahili Commission, both provisioned for the 2013/14 Financial Year. Rwanda and Tanzania have been selected to host the Science and Technology and Kiswahili Commissions respectively.
The Ministers who attended the meeting were: Hon. Ababu Namwamba (Youth Affairs and Sports, Kenya); Hon. Vincent Biruta (Education, Rwanda); Hon. Dr. Julien Nimubona (Higher Education and Scientific Research, Burundi); Hon. Dr. Shukuru Kawambwa (Education and Vocational Training, United Republic of Tanzania); and Uganda’s Minister of State for Higher Education Hon. Dr. John C. Muyingo.