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East African Community (EAC): Regional Intergovernmental Organisation

18-MAY-2016 09:55

    The East African Community (EAC) is a regional Intergovernmental organisation of six East African countries (i.e. Kenya, Rwanda, Republics of Burundi, South Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania and Republic of Uganda) on the three pillars: Custom Union, Common Market and Monetary Union. It’s headquarter is located in Arusha, Tanzania.

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    It was formed in 1967 but collapsed in 1977 and finally resurrected on 7 July 2000 with an aim for increasing the realm of cooperation (such as political, economic and social) among member states for their mutual benefits. It is an integral part of African Economic Community. The functions of the organisation moving around the norms & principles of the treaty which was signed in 1999 through the ratification of three original member states i.e. Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

    Pillars of EAC Regional Integration

    The Community of East African Countries was founded on the three stated pillars i.e. custom union, common market and monetary union.

    Custom Union: The member states agreed on a common external tariff (CET) and established free trade with zero duty imposed but when it comes to import from the outside of EAC Zone then subjected  to the same tariff, if sold to EAC member states.

    Common Market: It means EAC member states have liberal position on the goods movement, human movements, labour/workers movements, establishment, resident, movements of services and the capital movements.

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    Monetary Union: It is one of the important steps of the regional integration. It is injected to harmonise monetary as well as fiscal for the efficient payments and settlement system among member states.

    Governing Bodies of EAC

    There are seven divisions of the EAC governing bodies which are discussed below:

    The Summit: It is an apex organ of EAC which makes plan and strategies to achieve the organisational goals and objectives.

    The Council of Ministers:  It is key decision-making and governing body of the Community that constitutes by the Ministers or Cabinet Secretaries from the member states whose agendas are responsible for regional co-operation.

    The Coordinating Committee: It is organs that is responsible for the regional co-operation and align the activities of the Sectoral Committees.

    Sectoral Committees: It gestates the entire community programmes and monitors the entire stated programmes implementation.  

    The East African Court of Justice: It is the apex judicial body and ensures adherence to the law in the interpretation and application of compliance. It is composed of ten judges, appointed by the Summit from among sitting judges of any Partner State court of judicature or from jurists of recognised competence, and the Registrar who is appointed by the Council of Ministers.

    The East African Legislative Assembly: It is the legislative organ of the community that is composed of 45 elected members (9 from each member state), and seven ex-officio members consisting of the Minister or cabinet Secretary for EAC political helm of affairs, the Secretary-General and the Counsel to the Community totalling 52 Members. This organ is complemented as well as supplemented by its standing committees which are given below:

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    The Secretariat: It is executive body of the Community that ensures the regulations and directives are implemented properly or not. It acts as an accounting officer of the community. Its tenure is fixed for the five which non-renewable term.

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