President Paul Kagame yesterday received the Speaker of the Kenyan Senate, Ekwee Ethuro, as well as other Kenyan MPs, at Village Urugwiro where they discussed how to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.
Ethuro explained that they exchanged ideas with the President Kagame on how to deepen the East African Community (EAC) integration especially in terms of business.
“This is the first time we are getting a senate in Kenya after the promulgation of the new constitution in 2010 and we felt it was imperative to learn from Rwanda which has a senate because this will enable us to effectively and efficient execute our day to day activities as members of the senate back home,” Ethuro said.
He noted that they have learn a lot from their Rwandan counterparts in terms of mandate and committee working systems, saying that this will help them to establish such relations among themselves as senators and even with their members of parliament.
He added that Kenya has a lot of things in common with Rwanda, like Kenya’s Vision 2030 and Rwanda’s Vision 2020, and that there is a need to establish the role that an effective legislature can play in ensuring that governments are held accountable and there is good service delivery in all public institutions.
“We have also invited our Rwandan counterparts to come and visit us back home because the issue is not only learning from each other but also comparing notes and improving existing systems; as East Africans we should ensure that there is more interaction and relationship between our nations,” Ethuro said.
He added that among the lessons learnt from Rwandan is the bicameral nature of parliament especially the relationship between the chamber of deputies and the senate, which he said is very cordial, saying that they will replicate it back home by working more closely with the Kenyan parliament.
The Speaker said they were also impressed with the promotion of gender equality in Rwanda and urged more countries to come and learn from Rwanda in as far gender promotion is concerned.
The President of the Senate, Dr Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo, said that during their visit to the senate, the officials were briefed about how the two chambers work together and how senators carry out their daily activities and how they promote the unity of the Rwandan citizens and fight against genocide ideology.
The Kenyan parliamentary delegation also visited Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre where they were briefed about Rwanda’s history especially the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis, which will enable the two countries through their senates to play a key role towards promoting sustainable peace and security in the region.
The delegation including four senators arrived in the country last Thursday and left yesterday.