Formation: The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organization comprised of six Partner States: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. The Treaty to establish the EAC was signed on 30th November 1999 by Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania and became operational on 7th July 2000. Rwanda and Burundi joined the EAC on 1st July 2007. South Sudan became a member on 15th August 2016 after agreeing to the terms of the treaty on 15th April 2016.
Protocols: Since the formation of the EAC, the EAC Partner States have signed three protocols to bring the treaty into operation. These are: i) The Customs Union Protocol (2005) which aims to make the movement of goods easier in the EAC region i.e. free movement of goods; ii) the Common Market Protocol (2010) which provides for the free movement of goods, services, people, workers and capital within the EAC. It has extends the right of establishment and the right of residence in any EAC Partner State to citizens of the EAC who comply with the hosting EAC Partner State requirements; and iii) the Monetary Union Protocol (2013), which upon full implementation within a period of 10 years after its signing, will result in a single or common EAC currency. This will make the free movement of goods, services, people, workers and capital within the EAC even easier. Ultimately, the EAC Partner States aim to establish a Political Federation of East African Countries in the future.
Population & Trade: The EAC is home to over 150 million people, of which 22 percent live in urban areas. It has a total land area of 1.82 million square kilometres and a combined Gross Domestic Product of US$ 146 billion. According to the EAC Secretariat, 2015 total exports from intra-EAC trade amounted to US$ 3,207.4 million. Total imports amounted to US$ 1,533.1 million. This resulted in an intra-trade surplus of US$ 1,677.5 million. Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda recorded overall intra trade surplus balance while Burundi and Rwanda recorded an overall intra trade deficit.
Role of Women: The EAC Partner Sates recognise the role of women in socio economic transformation and sustainable growth. Thia ia documented in articles 121 and 122 of the EAC Treaty.
For more information on the EAC, refer to the following links:
- The East African Community – http://www.eac.int/about/overview
- Ministry of the East African Community, Kenya – http://meac.go.ke/
- Ministry of East African Community, Rwanda – http://mineacom.gov.rw/
- Ministry of East African Cooperation, Tanzania – http://www.meac.go.tz/
- Ministry of East African Community Affairs, Uganda – http://www.gou.go.ug/ministry/ministry-east-african-community-affairs