THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY
The East African Community (EAC) is the regional intergovernmental organisation of the Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda, and the United Republic of Tanzania, with its organisational headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. The Treaty for Establishment of the East African Community was signed on 30th November 1999 and entered into force on 7th July 2000 following its ratification by the original 3 partner states – Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Rwanda acceded to the EAC Treaty on 18th June 2007 and became a full member of the Community with effect from 1st July 2007.
Aims and Objectives
The EAC aims at widening and deepening mutually-beneficial cooperation among the Partner States in the political, economic and social fields. To this extent, the EAC countries established a Customs Union in 2005 and are working towards the establishment of a Common Market by 2010, subsequently a Monetary Union by 2012 and ultimately a Political Federation of the East African States.
Enlargement of the Community
The realization of a large regional economic bloc encompassing Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan with a combined population of more than 150 million people (2016), land area of 1.82 million sq kilometres and a combined Gross Domestic Product of $146 billion (2016), bears great strategic and geopolitical significance and prospects of a renewed and reinvigorated East African Community.
The regional integration process is at a high pitch at the moment. The encouraging progress of the East African Customs Union, the establishment of the East African Common Market in 2010 as well as the implementation of the East African Monetary Union Protocol all underscore the serious determination of the East African leadership and citizens to construct a powerful and sustainable East African economic and political bloc.
For more information, visit www.eac.int
The African Union (AU) was established on 9 September 1999 upon the issuance of the Sirte Declaration by the Heads of State and the Government of the then Organisation of African Unity, the predecessor of the AU. The declaration calls for the acceleration of the process of integration within the African continent to enable it play its rightful role in the global economy while addressing multifaceted social, economic and political problems which are compounded by globalisation.
“An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena.”
This vision of a new, forward-looking, dynamic and integrated Africa will be fully realized through relentless struggle on several fronts and as a long-term endeavour. The African Union has shifted focus from supporting liberation movements in the erstwhile African territories under colonialism and apartheid, as envisaged by the OAU since 1963 and the Constitutive Act, to an organization spearheading Africa’s development and integration.
Agenda 2063 is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years. Its builds on and seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.
Some of the past and current initiatives it builds on includes: the Lagos Plan of Action, The Abuja Treaty, The Minimum Integration Programme, the Programme for Infrastructural Development in Africa (PIDA), the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), The New partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Regional Plans and Programmes and National Plans. It is also built on national, regional, continental best practices in its formulation.
30th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly
Recently concluded on 29 January 2018, the 30th Ordinary Session of the AU summit was conducted under the theme ‘Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable path to Africa’s Transformation’ in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Remarkable decisions on the flagship projects of Agenda 2063 were made.
- Establishment of a Single Africa Air Transport Market on 28 January 2018. As part of the long-term vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa under the AU Agenda 2063, the Single Africa Air Transport Market will bring about enhanced connectivity across the continent, leading to sustainable development of the aviation and tourism industry with immense contribution to economic growth, job creation, prosperity and integration of Africa.
- Development of the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) in an Extraordinary Summit on 21 March 2018. During the Summit, the CFTA legal instruments will be considered before the Agreement establishing the CFTA will be signed.
- Financing of the AU via expansion of the Committee of Ministers of Finance from ten to fifteen members, based on the principles of equitable geographical distribution and rotation.
During the Session on 28th January 2018, H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, was elected to chair the AU and pilot it’s activities for the year 2018. He took over from H.E. Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea, who has been chairing the Union for the past year.
Current Status – Reform of the AU
Tasked with the reformation of the AU, Chairperson President Paul Kagame has since initiated a self-financing mechanism for the Union.
The self-financing mechanism of the African Union is a historic decision adopted by Heads of State and Government during the 27th AU Summit held in Kigali in July 2016. The mechanism aimed to wean the AU off external financial support, including for daily operational costs. To be able to raise the required funds, the mechanism suggests that all AU Member States implement a 0.2 per cent levy on eligible imports.
At least 14 states have already started collecting the 0.2 levy on imports and depositing the funds on an account dedicated for AU opened in their respective central banks. They include Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Chad, Djibouti, Guinea, Sudan, Morocco, Congo-Brazzaville, Gambia, Gabon, Cameroon, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire.
For more information, visit https://au.int/en.