The EAC Organs
i. The Summit
Membership of the Summit
The Summit consists of the Heads of State or Government of the Partner States.
If a member of the Summit is unable to attend a meeting of the Summit and it is not convenient to postpone the meeting, that member may, after consultation with other members of the Summit, appoint a Minister/ Cabinet Secretary of Government to attend the meeting. A Minister/Cabinet Secretary so appointed has, for purposes of that meeting, all the powers, duties and responsibilities of the member of the Summit for whom that person is acting.
Meetings of the Summit
The Summit meets at least once in every year and may hold extraordinary meetings at the request of any member of the Summit.
The tenure of office of the Chairperson of the Summit is one year and the office of the Chairperson is held in rotation among the Partner States.
The decisions of the Summit are by consensus.
The Summit discusses business submitted to it by the Council and any other matter that may have a bearing on the Community.
Subject to the provisions of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community, the Summit determines its own procedure, including that for convening its meetings, for the conduct of business and for the rotation of the Office of Chairperson among the members of the Summit.
Functions of the Summit
The Summit gives general directions and impetus as to the development and achievement of the objectives of the Community.
The Summit considers the annual progress reports and such other reports submitted to it by the Council as provided for by the Treaty.
The Summit reviews the state of peace, security and good governance within the Community and the progress achieved towards the establishment of a Political Federation of the Partner States.
Subject to the Treaty, the Summit may delegate the exercise of any of its functions, subject to any conditions that it may think fit to impose, to a member of the Summit, to the Council or to the Secretary General.
The Summit causes all rules and orders made by it under the Treaty to be published in the Gazette; and any such rules or orders come into force on the date of publication unless otherwise provided in the rule or order.
ii. The Council of Ministers
Membership of the Council
The Council consists of the Ministers/Cabinet Secretary responsible for regional co-operation of each Partner State and such other Ministers/Cabinet Secretaries of the Partner States as each Partner State may determine.
Meetings of the Council
- The Council meets twice in each year, one meeting of which is held immediately preceding a meeting of the Summit. Extraordinary meetings of the Council may be held at the request of a Partner State or the Chairperson of the Council.
- The Council determines its own procedure including that for convening its meetings, for the conduct of business thereat and at other times, and for the rotation of the office of Chairperson among its members who are Ministers/Cabinet Secretary responsible for regional co-operation in the Partner States.
- A member of the Council who is the leader of his or her Partner State's delegation to a meeting of the Council, may record his or her objection to a proposal submitted for the decision of the Council and, if any such objection is recorded, the Council does not proceed with the proposal and, unless the objection is withdrawn refers the matter to the Summit for decision.
- Subject to a Protocol on Decision-Making, the decisions of the Council shall be by consensus.
Effects of regulations, directives, decisions and recommendations of the Council
Subject to the provisions of the Treaty, the regulations, directives and decisions of the Council taken or given in pursuance of the provisions of the Treaty are binding on the Partner States, on all organs and institutions of the Community other than the Summit, the Court and the Assembly within their jurisdictions, and on those to whom they may under the Treaty be addressed.
Functions of the Council
Make policy decisions for the efficient and harmonious functioning and development of the Community;
Initiate and submit Bills to the Assembly;
Subject to the Treaty, give directions to the Partner States and to all other organs and institutions of the Community other than the Summit, Court and the Assembly;
Make regulations, issue directives, take decisions, make recommendations and give opinions in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty;
Consider the budget of the Community;
Consider measures that should be taken by Partner States in order to promote the attainment of the objectives of the Community;
Make staff rules and regulations and financial rules and regulations of the Community;
Submit annual progress reports to the Summit and prepare the agenda for the meetings of the Summit;
Establish from among its members, Sectoral Councils to deal with such matters that arise under the Treaty as the Council may delegate or assign to them and the decisions of such Sectoral Councils shall be deemed to be decisions of the Council;
Establish the Sectoral Committees provided for under the Treaty; and
Implement the decisions and directives of the Summit as may be addressed to it
LIST OF APPROVED EAC SECTORAL COUNCILS
- Sectoral Council on Transport, Communication and Meteorology
- Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment
- Sectoral Council on Agriculture and Food Security
- Sectoral Council on Education, Science and Technology, Culture And Sport
- Sectoral Council on Energy
- Sectoral Council on Tourism and Wildlife Management
- Sectoral Council on Health
- Sectoral Council on Legal and Judicial Affairs
- Sectoral Council on EAC Affairs
- Sectoral Council on Inter State Security
- Sectoral Council on Foreign Policy Coordination
- Sectoral Council on Gender, Youth and Community Development
- Sectoral Council on Monetary Union
- Sectoral Council on Defence
- Sectoral Council on Environment and Natural Resources
- Sectoral Council on Finance and Economic Affairs
iii. The Coordination Committee
Composition of the Co-ordination Committee
The Co-ordination Committee consists of the Permanent/Principal Secretaries responsible for regional co-operation in each Partner State and such other Permanent/Principal Secretaries of the Partner States as each Partner State determine.
Meetings of the Co-ordination Committee
Subject to any directions that may be given by the Council, the Co-ordination Committee meets at least twice in each year preceding the meetings of the Council and may hold extraordinary meetings at the request of the Chairperson of the Co-ordination Committee.
The Co-ordination Committee determines its own procedure including that for convening its meetings, for the conduct of business thereat and at other times, and for the rotation of the office of Chairperson among its members who are Permanent Secretaries responsible for regional co-operation in the Partner States.
Functions of the Co-ordination Committee
The Co-ordination Committee submits from time to time, reports and recommendations to the Council either on its own initiative or upon the request of the Council, on the implementation of the Treaty; implements the decisions of the Council as the Council may direct; receives and considers reports of the Sectoral Committees and co-ordinate their activities; may request a Sectoral Committee to investigate any particular matter; and has such other functions as are conferred upon it by the Treaty.
iv. Sectoral Committees
Establishment and Composition of Sectoral Committees
The Co-ordination Committee recommends to the Council the establishment, composition and functions of such Sectoral Committees, as may be necessary for the achievement of the objectives of the Treaty.
Meetings of the Sectoral Committees
Subject to any directions that may be given by the Council, the Sectoral Committees meet as often as necessary for the proper discharge of their functions and they determine their own procedure.
Functions of the Sectoral Committees
Subject to any directions the Council may give, each Sectoral Committee is
- Responsible for the preparation of a comprehensive implementation programme and the setting out of priorities with respect to its sector;
- Monitors and keeps under constant review the implementation of the programmes of the Community with respect to its sector; and
- Submits from time to time, reports and recommendations to the Co-ordination Committee either on its own initiative or upon the request of the Co-ordination Committee concerning the implementation of the provisions of the Treaty that affect its sector.
v. The East African Court of Justice
Establishment of the East African Court of Justice
The East African Community was revived on November 30, 1999, when the Treaty for its re-establishment was signed. It came into force on 7 July 2000, 23 years after the total collapse of the defunct Community and its organs.
This followed a process of re-integration which was embarked on in 1993, and which involved tripartite programmes of co-operation in political, economic, social and cultural fields, research and technology, defense, security, legal and judicial affairs.
It is hoped that the framework provided for under the Treaty will foster regional peace and security, while providing an appropriate response for economic development and competitiveness in light of globalization of trade and transnational corporations.
The East African Court of Justice (the Court), is one of the organs of the East African Community established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.
The defunct East African Court of Appeal was a court of appeal from decisions of the National Courts on both civil and criminal matters except constitutional matters and the offence of treason for Tanzania. The East African Court of Justice is different in composition and jurisdiction. It is an international court unlike the defunct East African Court of Appeal which handled only appeals from national courts.
The Court’s major responsibility is to ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the Treaty.
Following its inauguration by the Summit and the swearing in of Judges and the Registrar on 30th November 2001, the East African Court of Justice became operational. The operations of the Court during the transitional period are ad hoc until the Council of Ministers determines that there is enough business to make it fully operational. This means that judges are not required to permanently reside in Arusha where the temporary seat of the Court is located but they only convene to conduct the business of the Court when the need to do so arises.
vi. The East Africa legislative Assembly
The East African Legislative Assembly (Assembly) is an organ of the East African Community; established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.
The Treaty was signed on 30th November 1999 and entered into force on 7th July 2000 by the Partner States of The Republic of Uganda, The Republic of Kenya; and the United Republic of Tanzania. The Republic of Burundi and the Republic of Rwanda acceded to the Treaty on 18th June 2007 and became full members on 1st July 2007, thus expanding the number of the Community Partner States to five.
Under the Treaty, the Assembly has a Membership comprising nine members elected by each Partner State; ex-officio members consisting of the Minister or Assistant Minister responsible for the East African Community Affairs from each Partner State; the Secretary General and the Counsel to the Community. Currently, the Assembly has 45 elected Members; and 7 ex-officio Members totaling to a Membership of 52. Twenty of whom are female.
The Assembly has a cardinal function in the furtherance of Community objectives; this function encompasses the legislative, representative and oversight mandate. Article 49 of the Treaty stipulates that the Assembly shall:
- be the legislative organ of the Community;
- liaise with the National Assemblies of the Partner States on matters relating to the Community;
- debate and approve the budget of the Community;
- consider annual reports on the activities of the Community, annual audit reports of the Audit Commission and any other reports referred to it by the Council;
- discuss all matters pertaining to the Community and make recommendations to the Council as it may deem necessary for the implementation of the Treaty;
- May for purposes of carrying out its functions, establish any committee or committees for such purposes as it deems necessary;
- Recommend to the Council the appointment of the Clerk and other officers of the Assembly; and
- Make its rules of procedure and those of its committees.
- The Assembly may also perform any other functions as are conferred upon it by the Treaty.
The Treaty bestows upon the Assembly the authority to establish any committee or committees for such purposes as it deems necessary. Currently the Assembly has established the following Committees:
- The House Business Committee;
- The Accounts Committee;
- The Committee on Legal, Rules, and Privileges;
- The Committee on Agriculture, Tourism and Natural Resources;
- The Committee on Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution;
- The Committee on Communication, Trade and Investment and
- The Committee on General Purpose.
These Committees are charged with the responsibility of overseeing implementation of the provisions of the Treaty and the EAC Development Strategy in the special areas of cooperation that fall under their respective ambit. It is through these Committees that the bulk of the Assembly’s work is executed. In essence, they are the technical arm of the Assembly and as such play a significant role in the final decisions taken by the Assembly
Vision of the Assembly
The Vision of the East African Legislative Assembly is to be: An effective and independent Regional Parliament.
Mission of the Assembly
The Mission of the East African Legislative Assembly is: - To legislate, do oversight and represent the people of East Africa in a bid to foster economic, social, cultural and political integration.
Core Values of the Assembly
The Assembly is committed to fostering the following core values in its operations:
- Ethics and Integrity;
- Transparency and Accountability;
- Objectivity and Impartiality;
- Professionalism and Team Work;
- Unity in Diversity;
- Allegiance to EAC Ideals
vii. The Secretariat
Establishment of the Secretariat
The Secretariat is the executive organ of the Community.
These are the offices in the service of the Community:
- Secretary General;
- Deputy Secretaries General;
- Counsel to the Community; and such other offices as may be deemed necessary by the Council.
The Secretary General is appointed by the Summit upon nomination by the relevant Head of State under the principle of rotation.
Upon the appointment of the Secretary General the Partner State from which he or she is appointed forfeits the post of Deputy Secretary General.
The Secretary General is the principal executive officer of the Community and is: the head of the Secretariat; the Accounting Officer of the Community; the Secretary of the Summit; and carries out such other duties as are conferred upon him/her by the Treaty or by the Council from time to time.
The Secretary General serves a fixed five (5) year term.
The terms and conditions of service of the Secretary General are determined by the Council and approved by the Summit.
The Council determines the number of Deputy Secretaries General; the number currently stands at four (4) Deputy Secretaries General.
The Deputy Secretaries General are appointed by the Summit on recommendations of the Council and on a rotational basis.
The Deputy Secretaries General deputize for the Secretary General; and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Council.
The Deputy Secretaries General each serve a three (3) year term, renewable once.
The terms and conditions of service of the Deputy Secretaries General are determined by the Council and approved by the Summit.
The Counsel to the Community is the principal legal adviser to the Community.
The Counsel to the Community performs such duties as are conferred upon him or her by the Treaty and by the Council.
The Counsel to the Community is appointed on contract and in accordance with the staff rules and regulations and terms and conditions of service of the Community.
The Secretariat is responsible for:
- Initiating, receiving and submitting recommendations to the Council, and forwarding of Bills to the Assembly through the Co-ordination Committee;
- The initiation of studies and research related to, and the implementation of, programmes for the most appropriate, expeditious and efficient ways of achieving the objectives of the Community;
- The strategic planning, management and monitoring of programmes for the development of the Community;
- The undertaking either on its own initiative or otherwise, of such investigations, collection of information, or verification of matters relating to any matter affecting the Community that appears to it to merit examination;
- The co-ordination and harmonization of the policies and strategies relating to the development of the Community through the Co-ordination Committee;
- The general promotion and dissemination of information on the Community to the stakeholders, the general public and the international community;
- The submission of reports on the activities of the Community to the Council through the Co-ordination Committee;
- The general administration and financial management of the Community;
- The mobilization of funds from development partners and other sources for the implementation of projects of the Community;
- Subject to the provisions of the Treaty, the submission of the budget of the Community to the Council for its consideration;
- Proposing draft agenda for the meetings of the organs of the Community other than the Court and the Assembly;
- The implementation of the decisions of the Summit and the Council;
- The organization and the keeping of records of meetings of the institutions of the Community other than those of the Court and the Assembly;
- The custody of the property of the Community;
- The establishment of practical working relations with the Court and the Assembly; and
- Such other matters that may be provided for under the Treaty
Source: East Africa Community