Inaugural Sectoral Council on Gender, Community Devlopment convenes in Arusha
ARUSHA, Tanzania, February 29, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The inaugural meeting of the Sectoral Council on Gender, Youth, Children, Social Protection and Community Development is underway at the Arusha International Conference Centre in Arusha, Tanzania.
The Sectoral Council meeting will review the status of implementation of previous Council decisions and reports of the 3rd meeting of Gender and Community Development (February 2012); 3rd meeting of the Forum of Ministers responsible for Social Development (July 2011); and the EAC Conference on the Role of Women in Socio-economic Development and Women in Business (August 2011).
Also to be discussed is the report of a meeting of experts on empowering border communities through modernization of locally shared markets (June 2011).
The meeting will also review the dialogue framework for private sector and civil society participation in the EAC integration process.
The 27 February - 2 March meeting started with the session of Senior Officials (Monday 27 to Wednesday 29 February) which will be followed by the Permanent Secretaries session on 1 March before concluding with the Ministerial session on 2 March 2012.
Article 120(c) of the EAC Treaty clearly spells out that the EAC Partner States shall closely cooperate in the field of social welfare with respect to among others, the development and adoption of a common approach towards the disadvantaged and marginalized groups, including children, the youth, the elderly and persons with disabilities through rehabilitation and provision of among others, foster houses, health care, education and training.
One of the major mechanisms to implement this provision of the Treaty is the establishment of the Sectoral Council on Gender, Youth, Children, Social Protection and Community Development by the Council, following the recommendation made by the first meeting of the Forum of Ministers responsible for Social Development held in Kigali in September 2008.
The Ministers responsible for Social Development adopted the sector made of Gender, Youth, Children, Social Protection and Community Development as one of the major pillars of social development in the East African Community, alongside Health, Education, Science and Technology, Culture and Sports, among others.
The sector has a number of challenges and the most urgent issues are harmonization and implementation of laws in the sector and issues of poverty alleviation in EAC region.