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Speaker of EALA, Rt Hon Daniel F. Kidega yesterday challenged residents of Obongi County, Moyo District in Northern Uganda to take advantage of the integration process and tap in to available opportunities. Addressing residents at the Obongi Day Festivities 2016 at the Obongi Primary School grounds, the Speaker said the evolution of the Common market agenda would be meaningful for so long as EAC citizens embraced the transformation agenda.

“The transformation agenda must start from oneself,” he said.  We must change our individual mindsets initially, if we are to fully embrace and appreciate integration”, he added.

The Speaker who was the chief guest at the occasion anchored on the theme: Connecting Obongi to Arusha through Good Roads, Rail and Internet connections, called on the Obongi inhabitants to enhance productivity by trading in their commodities as a way of fully engaging in the free market.
The Speaker of EALA, Rt Hon Daniel F. Kidega (left) is received by the Obongi County MP, Hon Kaps Fungaroo Hassan to the celebrations

He informed participants that the EAC was committed to enhancing inter-connectivity by improving infrastructure. “The EAC road and rail network as well as enhancement in ICTs will play a key role in opening up the region”, the EALA Speaker said.

“It is important for authorities in Obongi to see how to open up the hinterland to the main region would benefit from the inter-connectivity of infrastructure”, he added.Rt Hon Kidega hailed the Government for ensuring peace and stability in Northern Uganda and said it was a pre-requisite for development.

The Leader of Official Opposition in Parliament, Hon Winifred Kiiza, called for enhancement of infrastructure and said all regions, devoid of their affiliations, were deserving.  “All citizens of Uganda pay taxes and Government of the day must ensure the services are equally distributed”, Hon Kiiza said.
The boat race commemorating the Obongi Day Festivities 2016

The Minister for Information Communication Technology, Hon Richard Tumwebaze said Government would expand and improve infrastructure for mobile telephony. He said Government would honour the pledges of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on enhancing infrastructure in the area.

He remarked that NRM Government would ensure equal services are rendered to all citizens.  The Minister of State for East African Community Affairs, Hon Julius Wandera Maganda said the location of Moyo district and the West Nile generally was strategic and it would open up the entire region.  He pledged to ensure the Ministry for EAC Affairs undertakes sensitization in the area.

The Party Leader of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Major Gen Mugisha Muntu urged the EAC region to ensure peace and security prevails.  
the Band leads the celebrations of the day.

“Conflict is costly. We have all seen what is happening in the neighbouring countries of South Sudan, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is important for us to build strong institutions and adhere to the fully commiting to democracy”, he said.  On his part, the Deputy Secretary General of NRM, Richard Todwong rallied the region to stay united so as to ensure progress is realized.

The Member of Parliament of Obongi County and host, Hon Kaps Fungaroo, Hassan said the region needed better infrastructure and appealed to Government to provide the essential services to the people.   He challenged Government authorities to rehabilitate and upgrade the Lomuunga Airstrip to enable the aviation industry to link the County to other parts of the country and the region.  The legislator also called for faster internet connectivity to the region and installation of electricity for faster development.

A number of activities were held during that climaxed in the celebrations.  The activities included key workshops, sporting activities and cultural events.