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Jean Monnet Network organises two events at the East African Community HQs


On 18 September Bradford's Jean Monnet Network 'The EU, Africa and China in the Global Age (EU-EAC)' organised its First Training & Dialogue Session on Regional Integration' in close cooperation with the East African Community (EAC). The event took place at the EAC Headquarters, in the Plenary Hall of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) [photo: Arusha.jpeg]. It was attended by EAC top officials and EU ambassadors, and supported by the EU Delegation to Tanzania and the EAC. The principal organiser of the event was Jean-Marc Trouille, Lead Participant of the Network and Jean Monnet Chair at the Faculty of Management & Law.

The purpose of the event was to engage in a dialogue on regional integration and EU-EAC cooperation with policy makers from all EAC member states. Representatives from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and South Sudan demonstrated keen interest in confronting ideas with the speakers. The Jean Monnet Network found an engaged audience for this new concept of cross-continental European-African-Chinese dialogue between the worlds of academia and policy makers.

The event began with a Welcome Address by Kenneth Bagamuhunda, EAC Director General for Customs and Trade, followed by Ambassador Roeland van de Geer, Head of the EU Delegation in Dar Es Salaam. Three Plenary Sessions followed, with a focus on regional integration: Moses Onyango, Network Representative for Kenya, gave a talk on ‘Foundations of Regional Integration’, followed by Jean-Marc who provided a comparative approach of African integration with European and Asian experiences. Prof. Macharia Munene, from the US International University-Africa (USIU-A Nairobi), gave the third presentation on ‘Interregional Cooperation in Africa’. An insightful keynote address was pronounced by Amb. Tim Clarke, former Head of EU Delegation to Tanzania and the EAC, on ‘How Does the European Union Work in Practice?’. The afternoon was devoted to parallel dialogue sessions which offered EAC participants opportunities to engage in debates following Chatham House rules. The sessions were facilitated by Jean Monnet Network experts and rapporteurs.

The Jean Monnet Network plans to run similar Training & Dialogue Sessions for EAC officials in each of the EAC member states. The second one is scheduled in January 2018 and will take place in Kampala, Uganda. It will be followed in the same week by an international conference at Gulu University in Northern Uganda.

The series of events continued on 19 September with the Jean Monnet Network’s Second International Research Workshop. It comprised:

A first session on The EAC and International Development Cooperation, with presentations made by Fabio Di Stefano (Head of Infrastructure at EU Delegation), Ambassador Tim Clarke, and Lawrence Othieno, EAC Regional Trade Adviser.

A second session on The EU, Africa and China: Challenges and Development affecting Africa’s Partners, with a paper on ‘China’s Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road – Potential for East Africa?’ jointly written by Prof. Wei Shen, (Jean Monnet Chair, Lancaster/Shandong), Dr Frannie Léautier (Former Vice-President of World Bank and African Development Bank and Honorary Member of the Jean Monnet Network), and Amb. Michael Schaefer (Chairman of BMW Foundation and Former German Ambassador to China). Prof. Asteris Huliaras (Jean Monnet Chair at the University of the Peloponnese, Greece) then provided insights on ‘Aspects of (in)coherence in EU Policies’, followed by Jean-Marc, whose talk was entitled ‘A Marshall Plan for Africa’s Industrialisation? Perspectives and Recent Initiatives’.

A third session was dedicated to Challenges and Developments affecting Africa. Dr Penine Uwimbabazi (Kigali, Rwanda) examined social dimensions of African development, whilst Julaina Obika (Gulu, Uganda) addressed issues of land conflicts, tensions on land access and refugees in East Africa, with emphasis on Northern Uganda and South Sudan.

A fourth session on Education and Training in East Africa. Prof. Léonidas Ndayisaba (UNESCO Chair, Burundi) informed the audience about the role and action of UNESCO Chairs in Africa. Jean-Marc gave a talk on ‘Promoting Jean Monnet Academic Activities in East Africa: An Information Session to the Jean Monnet Actions’. Finally, Dr Gwamaka Kifukwe (Uongozi Institute, Dar Es Salaam) explained the key role played by the Uongozi Institute in advising East African governments on sustainability and leadership issues.

The concluding session was a particularly lively open discussion with EAC officials keen to see more similar seminars in future with the Jean Monnet Network. Closing remarks were provided by Aime Uwase, Head of Planning and Research at the EAC.

On 20 September, the members of the Jean Monnet Network organised a lunch meeting with James Otieno Jowi, EAC Principal Education Officer, to discuss the support that the EAC will provide in organising the next Jean Monnet Training & Dialogue Sessions in each EAC member state. After this excellent meeting, Network members left to Kilimandjaro Airport to catch their flight back home.

The following morning, Jean-Marc, accompanied by Moses Onyango, attended a meeting with Ambassador Roeland van de Geer at the EU Delegation in Dar Es Salaam.

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It was agreed that the EU Delegation will contact the EU representations in each of the EAC member states with a request to provide support and safety advice to the Jean Monnet Network in their future activities across East Africa. Finally, the Jean Monnet Network and the EU Ambassador agreed to coordinate the respective events that they plan to organise in Arusha, Dar Es Salaam and Dodoma (Tanzania’s capital city) next May to coincide with Europe’s Day.


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