East African Integration (EAI).

The East African Community (EAC) is the regional intergovernmental organisation of the Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Republic of Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. The Treaty for Establishment of the East African Community was signed on 30 November 1999 and entered into force on 7 July 2000 following its ratification by the original three Partner States – Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The Republic of Rwanda and the Republic of Burundi acceded to the EAC Treaty on 18 June 2007 and became full Members of the Community with effect from 1 July 2007.

Aims and Objectives

The EAC aims at widening and deepening co-operation among the Partner States in, among others, political, economic and social fields for their mutual benefit. To this extent the EAC countries established a Customs Union in 2005 and a Common Market in 2010. The next phase of the integration will see the bloc enter into a Monetary Union and ultimately become a Political Federation of the East African States.

Enlargement of the Community

The realisation of a large regional economic bloc encompassing Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda with a combined population of more than 130 million people (2010*), land area of 1.82 million sq kilometres and a combined Gross Domestic Product of $74.5 billion (2009*), bears great strategic and geopolitical significance and prospects of a renewed and reinvigorated East African Community.

Current status

The regional integration process is at a high pitch at the moment as reflected by the encouraging progress of the East African Customs Union and the establishment in 2010 of the Common Market.The negotiations for the East African Monetary Union, which commenced in 2011, and fast tracking the process towards East African Federation all underscore the serious determination of the East African leadership and citizens to construct a powerful and sustainable East African economic and political bloc.