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Mudavadi urges EAC states to address needs of the youth after Kenya’s digital revolution

Sunday July 7, 2024

Prime and Foreign Affairs CS Musalia Mudavadi speaks when he opened the Sri Sathya Sai International organisation conference in Nairobi on June 28, 2024. PHOTO | OPCS

Prime Cabinet Secretary and Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Musalia Mudavadi has urged East African Community member states to fast-track regional integration and address the pressing needs of the region’s youthful population.

Speaking at the EAC Ministers retreat in Zanzibar, Mudavadi underscored the importance of digital-age civic engagement and adaptive governance to meet evolving expectations of the youth, who constitute 70 percent of Africa’s population.

"In Kenya, we have witnessed how technology can mobilize youth and drive societal change," he said. "As leaders, we must respond with agility and foresight to harness this energy for inclusive growth and development."

Reflecting on Kenya's constitutional provisions and recent civic engagement through digital platforms, Mudavadi underscored the transformative power of technology in fostering civic dialogue and accountability.

He emphasized the importance of all States embracing dialogue as a cornerstone for addressing the aspirations and challenges of the region.

"The digital age compels governments to adapt swiftly to the aspirations ofcitizens. We must innovate and engage proactively to meet the evolving expectations of our youth," he said.

Mudavadi set the tone for discussions on accelerating EAC’s regional integration. He welcomed Somalia, the newest member of EAC, and commended the Somalia government for its commitment to resilience and regional cooperation.

"I extend a warm welcome to Somalia, our newest member, and commend their dedication to our shared vision of a united and prosperous East African Community," he stated, urging member states to deepen economic ties and fortify political stability across the region.

The Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers, Deng Alor Kuol, also lauded Somalia’s accession to the EAC, describing it as a significant step towards deepening regional integration, fostering economic cooperation and enhancing political stability across the member states.

The Zanzibar retreat brought together EAC ministers responsible for foreign affairs and regional integration to deliberate on strategies to bolster regional integration and strengthen security.

Delegates engaged in candid exchange, emphasizing the need for collaborative efforts to address transnational challenges and promote sustainable development.

They pledged to strengthen partnerships to promote regional peace, security and economic prosperity.

The delegates affirmed their commitment to upholding the EAC's foundational principles of solidarity, mutual respect and shared responsibility.

The retreat's outcomes are set to inform strategic initiatives aimed at advancing integration frameworks and enhancing collaboration in key sectors such as trade, security and infrastructure development.

Moving forward, the EAC remains steadfast in its commitment to navigating challenges and seizing opportunities to build a more resilient and interconnected East Africa.


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