The East African Community Inter-Parliamentary (EAC) 13th edition games have seen Uganda cling onto their championship as they take overall place again this year in Kigali, Rwanda.
The two-week-long EAC games that started on December 8, 2023, came to an end on Monday, December 18, 2023, at a closing ceremony that took place at the Kigali conference and exhibition village with the awarding of medals.
Uganda, who were defending campaigns, emerged as the best performer, scooping 36 medals, 23 of which were gold, eight silver, and five bronze. Tanzania came in second, and Kenya came in third.
Francine Rutazana, Chairperson of the Joint Planning Committee of the EAC, applauded the hosts for the conducive environment that enabled members to participate with a high level of compliance with rules.
“The discipline committee received only three cases of indiscipline; this is surprising because the last tournament there were five cases, meaning there was a high level of compliance with the rules, and there is a need to maintain that spirit,” said Rutazana.
Thomas Tayebwa, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament in Uganda, urged EAC countries to use sports to build bridges for peace and cohesion.
“Let us make sports part of our lifestyle because our work is stressful, we sit for long hours, and sports can help us build our friendship. We must make EAC work,” Tayebwa said.
Tulia Ackson, the speaker of Tanzania’s national assembly and also Chairperson of the Bureau of Speakers of the EAC, challenged East African Parliamentarians to enhance youth participation and address pressing African problems.
“As parliamentarians, you need to make youths part of the decision-making process in your counties. We should work together to end poverty, climate change, and environmental degradation,” said Ackson.
The tournament is a key aspect of building relations between the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) and the EAC National Parliaments. It is in line with Article 49(2)(a) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. EALA mooted the idea in 2001 to enhance interaction with the EAC Partner States and as a mode of sensitization and popularisation of the integration process.