East African Community [EAC]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 19, 2022, 12:36

A regional inter-governmental organization consisting of six nations from East Africa, The East African Community [EAC] was established in 1967 and collapsed in 1977 for various reasons.

East African Community [EAC] History

East African Community [EAC] was revived in July 2000 with the objective of increasing the economic, social, and political cooperation among the member nations for their benefit. It is headquartered in Arusha, a Tanzanian city.

The East African Community is an integral component of the African Economic Community and its functions centre around the principles of a treaty of cooperation signed in 1999 between Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, the original members of the entity.

East African Community [EAC] Pillars

The East African Community [EAC] is based on three pillars namely monetary union, customs union, and common market.

Monetary Union - A significant step toward regional integration, the monetary union aims to harmonize fiscal and monetary for better settlement and payment systems among member nations.

Customs Union - Members agree on a common tariff and establish free trade without any duty. A common external tariff is applied on imports from non-member countries.

Common Market - EAC member countries enjoy a liberal position on the movement of goods, men, labour, resident, capital, and services.

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East African Community [EAC] Member Countries

The six-member countries in the Great Lakes region are:

  • Kenya
  • Uganda
  • Tanzania
  • South Sudan
  • Rwanda
  • Burundi

The East African Community [EAC] has seven governing bodies as discussed here:

  • The Summit - is Responsible for creating strategies aimed at achieving the goals and objectives of the entity
  • The Council of Ministers - A governing body constituted by the Ministers from member states
  • Sectoral Committee - Monitors the implementation of stated programmes
  • Coordinating Committee - Responsible for regional cooperation and alignment of the activities of the Sectoral Committee
  • The East African Legislative Assembly - The legislative component made up of 45 elected members and seven other members
  • The East African Court of Justice - Judicial body that ensures law adherence and compliance and consists of ten judges
  • The Secretariat - The executive body ensuring the proper regulations and directives
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East African Community [EAC] Benefits

The East African Community provides several benefits to the member states. It strives to protect the region from the effects of International economic breakdowns. It also facilitates countries with efficient conflict resolution mechanisms.

It provides a bigger market for a combined population of over 150 million people and common market access free of any obstacles. Members can enjoy faster clearances at borders through One-Stop Border Posts.

The East African Community stands to add substantial value to member states by giving access to vibrant domestic markets, while significantly reducing depends on international markets for both exports and imports of essential goods and services.

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FAQs on East African Community [EAC]

Q.1. What was the reason behind the disintegration of the East African Community [EAC]?

The East African Community [EAC] collapsed in 1977 for multiple reasons like Kenya's demand for more seats in decision-making bodies, the difference in economic systems in Tanzania and Kenya, and conflict with the dictator of Uganda.

Q.2. Who founded the East African Community [EAC]?

The East African Community [EAC] was founded upon the Treaty for East African Cooperation signed in 1993 by the presidents of Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. The organization has since had a smooth run in addressing issues and cultivating harmonious relationships with member countries.

Q.3. When did Burundi and Rwanda join the East African Community [EAC]?

Burundi and Rwanda became members of the Customs Union of the East African Community [EAC] in July 2009. The two countries held official ceremonies in their capitals on the occasion.

Q.4. What is the Main Objective of the East African Community [EAC]?

The East African Community [EAC] strives to achieve stability, security, prosperity, competitiveness, and political integrity throughout East Africa.