The future of East African education: EAC and EALA input

At the end of last month, we were invited to sign an MOU with the East African Community (EAC) at the East African Community Investment Conference in Kampala. This was the follow-up to last November’s meeting in Arusha, Tanzania for the 10th Anniversary of the East African Community and Legislative Assembly (EALA). Lidet has been organizing this series of meetings, and helped schedule the week around this latest event.

There was a press conference and signing, with Matt, Lidet, Julia and Sam from OLPC Rwanda, the Secretary General of the EAC, the Speaker of the EALA, Ministers from several countries, parliamentarians from five countries, and Uganda’s Ministers of Education and Technology. Coverage of the event was extensive in Uganda, with some international coverage, and press questions were enthusiastic.

The seriousness of the EAC and EALA was striking. So often lip service is paid, promises to follow up are pledged, but at the end of the day, conversations slip away. But both the Speaker and the SG pledged to move quickly, spoke passionately about the future in education for East Africa, and discussed how to work with individual countries and with the EAC collectively. They also publicly stated olpc East Africa (30 million children) as a goal for 2015.

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East African Community OLPC launch

Here’s a short video from last month’s meeting of the East African Legislative Assembly, shortly before the EAC announced a regional OLPC initiative:

This was the 11th Summit of the Heads of State of the East African Community (EAC).  President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of the United Republic of Tanzania and Secretary General Juma Volter Mwapachu of the EAC said a few words prior to Matt Keller’s presentation.

The East African Community (EAC) is the regional intergovernmental organization of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.  Its legislative arm, the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), addresses regional policy issues, and has been active since 2001; Rwanda and Burundi joined the EALA relative recently, in 2007.