DemocracyDevelopmentEast AfricaNewsPolitics

New EAC SG sworn in, pledges to deepen regional integration

KAMPALA, June 9, 2024 – The new East African Community [ EAC ] Secretary General [SG], Veronica Mueni Nduva, took the oath of office Friday evening at State House in Juba, South Sudan.

Nduva was sworn in during the 23rd Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the EAC Heads of State held virtually and chaired by Salva Kiir Mayardit, Chairperson of the Summit and President of South Sudan.

Speaking after taking the oath, Nduva said that her tenure would be dedicated to promoting deeper integration and development of the people of East Africa.

The EAC consists of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Nduva said her key priorities would include strengthening economic integration that encourages innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation in addition to peace and security.

“Your Excellencies, in promoting peace and security, a secure East Africa is the foundation upon which we can build lasting prosperity,” said the SG.

Nduva, who is EAC’s first female SG, disclosed that advanced social development would also be a priority for her with special attention being given to empowering women and youth who are the backbone of the society in the region.

Infrastructure development will also rank high on the incoming SG’s agenda as she reiterated that the sector will require innovative financing solutions and strengthened public-private-partnerships (PPPs).

“To promote climate resilient growth, we will continue addressing the pressing challenges of climate change collectively as a region. This includes promoting green energy, sustainable agriculture, conservation efforts and resource mobilisation as a bloc,” she added.


Nduva further singled out institutional strengthening for effective implementation of policies and programmes as another of her priorities, adding that enhancing inter-organ and inter-institutional coordination would be key to delivering on the mandate.

She pledged fidelity to the Treaty and said that it would serve as her guiding document throughout her tenure as Secretary General even as she promised to promote a culture of transparency, accountability and inclusivity at the Community.

Nduva replaces Dr. Peter Mutuku Mathuki who was recalled by Kenya in March 2024 and redeployed as the country’s Ambassador to Moscow. Prior to her appointment as SG, Nduva was the Principal Secretary in the State Department for Performance and Delivery Management in the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary and Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs.

Nduva, an alumnus of the University of Nairobi [UoN], is an accomplished governance and public sector professional with a 24 years’ career spanning service in the Government of Kenya, EAC, US government and civil society. She holds a BA in Political Science and Communication Studies from UoN. She also possesses vast experience in Human Resource Management and budgetary appropriations.

In his remarks, President Kiir said that the bloc was on the right track noting that intra-regional trade currently stood at 15 percent and expressed hope that it would rise further with the recent admission of the Federal Republic of Somalia into the Community.

On the Monetary Union, Kiir called for the fast-tracking of the East African Monetary Institute to provide guidance on the establishment of a single currency. On the Political Federation, the Summit Chairperson disclosed that South Sudan would be holding consultations on the EAC Political Confederation Constitution in July 2022 and urged Partner States that have not done so to expedite the consultations.

Noting that peace and security are key to economic growth, political stability and sustainable development in East Africa, the Summit Chairperson said that it was the collective responsibility of all Partner States to pursue just and equitable settlements to disputes and conflict in the region.


On his part, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, underscored the need to eliminate Non-Tariff Barriers [NTBs] as they distort the region’s potential for trade. President Museveni hailed South Sudan for her upcoming consultations on the Political Confederation Constitution in July and urged other countries to follow suit so that the bloc can take the integration process to a higher level.

Speaking at the event, Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of Tanzania, urged the incoming Secretary General to focus on improving the visibility of the EAC and addressing the lack of shared perception of benefits of integration among East Africans, adding that some East Africans were even unsure of the fruits of integration.

President Suluhu singled out the challenges posed by climate change and urged the new SG to promote adaptation and mitigation to reduce the adverse impact of the phenomenon on EAC economies.

She said that prioritising increased access to cleaner and affordable energy would enable the region to transition to cleaner and modern cooking solutions that would in turn deliver greater benefits in terms of emission reductions, forest preservation, protection of biodiversity, better health, increased productivity and gender equality.

She observed that youth form a critical part of the EAC population, constituting more than 70% or approximately 302 million people, adding that it was crucial that young people fully participate in the integration process and exploit the opportunities arising from it.

On his part, Rwandan President Paul Kagame hailed the directive by the Summit for the convening of a retreat of the EAC Ministers of Foreign and Regional Affairs to deliberate on the Report of the Consultative Meetings by the Chairperson of the Summit on Partner States’ Relations.

In his remarks, the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, said that his country would soon be sending Members of Parliament and Judges to the East African Legislative Assembly and the East African Court of Justice, respectively.

President Mohamud said that Somalia was also gearing for her integration into the Customs Union and the Common Market, the 1st and 2nd pillars of the integration process.

Also present at the meeting were: Burundi’s Vice President Prosper Bazombanza who represented President Evariste Ndayishimiye; Kenya’s Prime Cabinet Secretary and Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi, who represented President William Samoei Ruto; South Sudan’s Minister of EAC Affairs and Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers,  Deng Alor Kuo;

Others were East African Court of Justice [EACJ] Judge President,  Justice Nestor Kayobera; Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly [EALA], Joseph Ntakirutimana; the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Customs, Trade and Monetary Affairs, Annette Mutaawe Ssemuwemba, and Andrea Aguer Ariik Malueth, EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Infrastructure, Productive, Social and Political Sectors.

Buy your copy of thecooperator magazine from one of our country-wide vending points or an e-copy on

Views: 1

Related Articles

Back to top button