A 21 year-old student from Rukungiri District, Belinda Amanya, has been elected as the 6th speaker of the East African Youth Parliament (EAYP). This achievement makes her the second Ugandan to hold this position in the assembly, following in the footsteps of Ms Lilian Aber, the first speaker.
Ms Amanya, a third-year Law student at Gulu University, secured victory on Friday in Arusha, Tanzania, defeating two other contestants. She received 26 votes in a closely contested physical voting exercise, replacing Kenya’s Brian Odero.
Her closest competitor, Mr Savior Tombe from South Sudan, garnered 18 votes, while Mr Faustin Casimile Maugisha from Rwanda received only 4 votes.
In an interview, Ms Amanya expressed her excitement, calling the win a dream come true and a significant achievement. She sees it as an inspiration for fellow youth, emphasizing that determination and principles can lead to success.
Looking ahead to her tenure, Ms Amanya aims to ensure the East African Youth Assembly’s views are valued and shared with various stakeholders. She plans to collaborate with organizing partners, the East African Legislative Assembly, and engage with fellow delegates to follow up on their perspectives.
Born in Rukungiri to Mr Ben Sabiiti and Ms Enid Kuheebwa, Ms Amanya began her education at Victoria Nile Primary School in Jinja. She later attended Bweranyangi Girls Senior Secondary School in Bushenyi District for her secondary education.
In 2022, she pursued her dream course in Law at Gulu University and currently serves as the 21st vice guild president of the institution. Additionally, Ms Amanya holds the position of Vice Chairperson of the European Union Youth Sounding Board Uganda.
The East African Youth Parliament (EAYP), established in 2009 through the East Africa Community Convention declaration, is an affiliate of the East Africa Community (EAC). Dedicated to advancing youth empowerment causes, it focuses on advocacy, economic empowerment, leadership and governance, entrepreneurship, human rights, climate change, and the environment.
EAYP provides young people in the Eastern Africa region with a platform to explore opportunities for youth participation and leadership in addressing social, economic, and political development interests.