East African Legislative Assembly

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East African Legislative Assembly
Swahili: Bunge la Afrika Mashariki
3rd EALA
FoundedNovember 2001
Seats52 (45 elected; 7 ex officio)

The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is a sub-organ of the larger East African Community, being the legislative arm of the Community. Members are sworn into five-year terms.


EALA had its first sitting in Arusha, Tanzania on 29 November 2001. It had been founded the day before. The first Speaker of the Assembly was Abdulrahman Kinana of Tanzania.[2] The first Assembly, including members from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, was dissolved in 2006.

The second Assembly expanded as Rwanda and Burundi joined the EAC in 2007. Abdirahim Abdi of Kenya was the Speaker of the second Assembly.


Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete addressing the Assembly

Nine elected members from each country and seven ex officio members make up the membership of the East African Legislative Assembly.[3] Members are elected by the legislatures of each country. To make sure there are women represented there are 2 female members from Kenya, 3 from Tanzania and 4 from Uganda.

Ex officio members include the ministers from each country responsible for regional co-operation, a Secretary General, and a Counsel to the Community.

The elected members of the second EALA (2007–12) break down by political party as follows:[4]

Political party Burundi Kenya Rwanda South Sudan Tanzania Uganda TOTAL
independents or unspecified   5 9 N/A   9 23
Chama Cha Mapinduzi       N/A 7   7
CNDD-FDD 4     N/A     4
KANU   2   N/A     2
CNDD 1     N/A     1
FORD Kenya   1   N/A     1
FORD People's Party   1   N/A     1
MRC 1     N/A     1
United Democratic Party       N/A 1   1
UPRONA 1     N/A     1
vacant? 2     N/A 1   3
Totals 9 9 9 N/A 9 9 45


The responsibilities of the East African Legislative Assembly are:

  • to meet with the National Assemblies of member countries on matters relating to the Community;
  • to debate, discuss and approve the budget of the Community;
  • to consider annual reports on the activities of the Community, annual audit reports of the Audit Commission and any other reports referred to it by the Council of Ministers;
  • to discuss all matters pertaining to the Community and make recommendations to the Council as it may deem necessary for the implementation of the Treaty;
  • for purposes of carrying out its functions, to establish any committee or committees for such purposes as it deems necessary;
  • to recommend to the Council the appointment of the Clerk and other officers of the Assembly;
  • to make its own rules of procedure and those of its committees; and
  • to perform any other duties that are allowed and permitted by the Treaty.


EALA is empowered to make its own Rules of Procedure and to constitute Committees. The adopted Rules of Procedure (as amended in February 2003) provide for a Committee System of seven standing committees, but may also appoint Select Committees when need arises.

The seven standing committees are:

  • Accounts
  • Agriculture, Tourism and Natural Resources
  • General Purpose
  • House Business
  • Legal, Rules and Privileges
  • Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution
  • Trade Communication and Investment

The composition and leadership of each of these Committees is equally shared among the Partners States.

Activities since inauguration[edit]

Since its inauguration, EALA has held several sittings as a Plenary in Arusha, Kampala and Nairobi. During these sittings, EALA has:

  • adopted its rules of procedure;
  • elected the Speaker of the Assembly;
  • recommended to the Council of Ministers the appointment of the Officers of the Assembly;
  • approved the budgets for the EAC for the 2002-3 and 2003-4 fiscal years;
  • asked the Council of Ministers 19 questions, which were duly answered;
  • adopted five resolutions;
  • held seminars on a wide range of issues in relation to their mandate; and
  • passed six bills into law.

The Committees have continuously got briefs from the Secretariat and given advice with regard to progress in the implementation of the Treaty.