Former Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga is committed to ensuring the full realization of the integration of the East African Community.
Ms Kadaga made the pledge on Wednesday as she was sworn in as Minister of East African Affairs at the East African Legislative Assembly in Arusha, Tanzania.
Before Ms. Kadaga took the pledge of allegiance to the assembly, she paid a courtesy call to the regional president, Mr. Martin Ngoga.
She later met with Ugandan representatives in the assembly, who took her to the chambers to be sworn in.
In her brief inaugural address, Ms Kadaga said she was no stranger to the affairs of the region and was delighted to be back home.
âIn 1986, I was appointed Minister in charge of regional cooperation and part of my role was the East African Community, so I came to a time when the community was starting. I am now back, âMs. Kadaga said.
President Ngoga said the assembly was happy to have two speakers in the house, with Ms Kadaga coming with a vast experience of 27 years in legislation, including 10 as vice-president and 10 as president.
Ms Kadaga said: “Our job will be to coordinate all activities to ensure that integration ultimately results in political confederation.”
Uganda representative Ms. Mary Mugyenyi said Ms. Kadaga brings a wealth of legislative experience and leadership skills.
Ms. Fred Mukasa Mbidde, another representative to the assembly, said that he would not be surprised to see Kadaga become a member of the summit, ie the President of Uganda.
Ms Kadaga succeeds Major General Kahinda Otafiire, who was reassigned to the home affairs role by President Museveni during cabinet appointments last month.
In a heated race for the post of President in May this year, Ms. Kadaga was beaten by her deputy, Mr. Jacob Oulanyah.
President Museveni later in his new cabinet appointed her as the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Affairs.
Ms Kadaga’s swearing-in at the regional legislature comes barely a week after she was sworn in as first deputy prime minister.
The East African Community is a regional intergovernmental organization of six partner states, including Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, headquartered in Arusha.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is at an advanced stage of integration into the community