Kenya’s National Assembly Select Committee on Regional Integration visits the Eastern and Southern African Management Institute.

The National Assembly Select Committee on Regional Integration for Kenya is conducting a tour to familiarise themselves with the role of the EAC organs and institutions and perceive the challenges they face, which may impede the integration process. The Honourable committee on 4 April 2023 visited ESAMI led by Hon. Salah Yakub Farah.

The Committee is mandated among others to enhance the role and involvement of the House in the intensification and development of the integration process in the EAC and the greater African region. The delegation was received by the ESAMI team led by Acting Director General, Dr Lucky Yona. Dr Yona and team appraised the honourable committee members of its activities, challenges and opportunities and the critical role it plays in the regional integration process.

The Director for Marketing, Ms Chengetai Magunje informed that ESAMI is a Pan-African Regional Management Institute that the UN Economic Commission for Africa officially designated as The African Centre of Excellence in Management Development in 1997.

The institute is owned by ten member governments from the Eastern and Southern African regions. It offers Academic and Executive management training, consultancy, and research services. She also highlighted some of the courses that are being offered for other parliamentarians in the region to strengthen especially the role of female and young parliamentarians. ESAMI offers an array of courses including Policy, leadership, climate change, entrepreneurship and trade, leveraging technology for physical, virtual and blended learning.

To overcome the cost of divisions, regional integration is needed to facilitate trade flows, capital, energy, people and ideas. The head of ESAMI’s trade policy training, Dr Caiphas Chekwoti, reiterated its contributions to the process of regional integration. Seeing that a lot of the endeavours of regional integration need to be supported with research, technical assistance and capacity building. ESAMI’s knowledge generation and dissemination on negotiating and implementing regional trade agreements can be vital for the benefit of smooth regional integration within the EAC and beyond.

The committee appreciated the insights given and the work that ESAMI is doing in the region. The Committee members who are all members of parliament assured ESAMI that they would assist with follow-up with some of the challenges highlighted by ESAMI intending to use their legislative power to rally competent authorities in Kenya and the region to address them. Both parties agreed to work together to develop proposals that ensure the development of more relevant capacity-building products that tackle the unique challenges Africa faces.