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Uganda’s Deputy Speaker Elected as East Africa’s Representative to OACPS-EU Parliamentary General Assembly Bureau

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In a significant development, Uganda’s Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa, has been elected to represent East Africa on the bureau of the Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) – European Union General Assembly. This announcement came during the 64th session of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly and Constitutive Sessions of the OACPS-EU Joint Parliamentary Assemblies, currently ongoing in Luanda, Angola, between February 17 and 21.

Tayebwa’s role encompasses representing a cluster of nations including Mauritius, Seychelles, Djibouti, Comoros, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi. Central to his agenda is the implementation of the Samoa Agreement, which has replaced the longstanding Cotonou Agreement spanning over two decades.

In his remarks, Tayebwa underscored the importance of engaging with the European Union coalition on critical global issues such as climate change, gender parity, energy transition, human rights, peace and conflict resolution, and democracy. He vowed to be a voice for the Global South, advocating against unfair trade practices and emphasizing the need for responsible energy exploitation without environmental degradation.

“We are going to be five members from Africa negotiating with the European Parliament on these issues,” Tayebwa emphasized, highlighting the significance of a unified African stance in the negotiations.

Fellow parliamentarians expressed confidence in Tayebwa’s capabilities, with Kenyan MP Martin Peters Owino expressing optimism that Tayebwa’s leadership will strengthen the East African region’s representation. Owino emphasized the importance of effective communication and unity among East African nations to address common challenges.

Opposition Chief in the Ugandan Parliament, John Baptist Nambeshe, lauded Tayebwa’s election, recognizing it as a significant opportunity for Uganda and the region to address unique challenges and foster unity.

Tayebwa’s election to the OACPS-EU Parliamentary General Assembly Bureau not only reflects Uganda’s increasing role in regional and international affairs but also signals a commitment to advancing the interests of East Africa within the global arena. With his mandate, Tayebwa aims to drive positive change and foster cooperation on pressing issues affecting the African continent and beyond.

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