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Task force on approximation of national laws meets in Kigali / Work permits one of the issues to be considered

By East African Community (EAC)

KIGALI, Rwanda, February 10, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- A five-day Task Force meeting on Approximation of Municipal Laws in the East African Community was convened from Monday in Kigali, Rwanda.

At the top of the Task Force's agenda is the consideration of the report on harmonization of the Partner States' commercial laws, whose study was commissioned by the Secretariat in 2010. The study entails an overall review and identification of commercial laws in the Partner States that have a direct bearing and impact on the Common Market, Monetary Union and a common investment area. The study also includes a component on drafting proposed EAC legislation in the identified and agreed priority areas.

The meeting is also considering issues pertaining to work permits in the Partner States' national laws governing immigration and the Common Market Protocol, areas for harmonization of the Partner States' laws governing labor as well as areas of divergence between Partner States' national laws governing labor and the Common Market Protocol.

In addition, the Task Force is expected to identify priority laws for harmonization in the region, a task previously undertaken by the EAC Secretariat.

“The practice of identifying the laws for harmonization has been that the Secretariat identifies the laws and presents them to the Task Force and Sub-Committee for consideration,” noted Hon. Wilbert Kaahwa, Counsel to the Community.

“In this respect, the Secretariat has noted the need to go an extra mile and involve the stakeholders in identifying which laws should be given priority in the harmonization process,” he added.

The Task Force is therefore, expected to consult the stakeholders in their respective Partner States and come up with a list of at least 10 laws that deserve priority in the harmonization process. Identified priority laws will be consolidated into one comprehensive list that the Task Force will embark on in the harmonization process. The Task Force is expected to initiate a list of priority laws and roadmap for their harmonization.