By Tamilwai Janga
East Africa Community (EAC) was first formed in 1967. It collapsed in 1977 due to political differences. Considering the need to consolidate regional co-operation as the rationale, the East African Heads of State of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda resolved to sign the Treaty re-establishing the East African Community (EAC) by the end of July 1999. The community was to take over from the Permanent Tripartite Commission for East African Co-operation. It was established officially in 2001;its headquarters being in Arusha Tanzania. OBJECTIVES:
The Commission aims to improve and strengthen co-operation on the basis of the historical ties and understanding between the people of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. However Rwanda and Burundi requested to join and accepted. In this regard the countries emphasize co-operation in the priority areas of transport and communication, trade and industry, security, immigration and the promotion of investment in the region.
The EAC's bid to create a single East African market entails easing travel restrictions, harmonizing tariffs, increasing co-operation among security forces, improving communications, sharing electrical power and addressing Lake Victoria issues. Concrete measures toward integration include freely exchangeable currencies (and ultimately a single currency), a common East African passport, a common flag and a double taxation accord. It also aims to abolish all tariffs with the aim of attaining economic and political integration. Each member would, however, be allowed to extract a maximum 10% surcharge on some products in order to protect indigenous industries, especially in the smaller economies of Tanzania and Uganda. This will be achieved through the establishment of a Customs Union as the entry point of the Community, a Common Market, subsequently a Monetary Union and ultimately a Political Federation of the East African States. The regional organization aims at...