East African Community clocks 23 years

THE East African Community (EAC) will today clock 23 years since the signing of the treaty of its establishment.

Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community was signed in Arusha on November 30, 1999, under the gaze of the late Tanzania President Benjamin Mkapa, Kenya’s late Daniel Arap Moi and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, at the Sheikh Amri Abeid Memorial Stadium.

The document would in July 7, 2000 enter into force following the conclusion of the process of its ratification and deposit of the Instruments of Ratification with the Secretary-General by all the three Partner States, namely Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

Detailing on EAC’s big day, the Secretariat’s Senior Public Relations Officer Simon Peter Owoka said here on Monday that the event will be preceded by a two-day Media Training Workshop from media practitioners from the seven partner states and a Community Social Responsibility session at Kilombero Market and the Levolosi Dispensary.

“The CSR is meant to return back to the community and we will use the same session to increase the public’s awareness about the EAC,” explained Mr Owaka.

The regional economic community is now home to around 300 million East Africans, following the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) introduction to the bloc.

It also boasts of a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 150billion US dollars after the former’s entry.

Burundi and Rwanda joined in 2009, and South Sudan joined in 2016.  The EAC has had three names since its conception; the East African High Commission from 1948 to 1961, East African Common Services Organisation from 1961 to 1967, and then from 1967 to 1977 the East African Community.

In 1967 the East African Common Services Organisation was superseded by the East African Community, which aimed to strengthen the ties between the members through a common market, a common customs tariff, and a range of public serves to help achieve economic growth in the region.

The bloc pegs its agenda on four key pillars of regional integration namely Customs Union, Common Market, Monetary Union and Political Federation.

At the moment, the regional integration process is in full swing as reflected by the encouraging progress of the East African Customs Union, the establishment of the Common Market in 2010 and the implementation of the East African Monetary Union Protocol, while the process towards an East African Federation is being fast tracked, underscoring the serious determination of the East African leadership and citizens to construct a powerful and sustainable East African economic and political bloc.

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