The East African Community (EAC) is the regional intergovernmental organisation of the Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Republic of Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. The organisation was originally founded in 1967, collapsed in 1977, and was officially revived on July 7, 2000.
The Treaty for Establishment of the East African Community was signed on 30 November 1999 and entered into force on 7 July 2000 following its ratification by the original three Partner States – Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda at the time. The Republic of Rwanda and the Republic of Burundi acceded to the EAC Treaty on 18 June 2007 and became full Members of the Community with effect from 1 July 2007.
In 2008, after negotiations with the Southern African Development (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Africa (COMESA), the EAC agreed to an expanded free trade area including the member states of all three. The EAC is an integral part of the African Economic Community.
Aims and Objectives
The EAC aims at widening and deepening co-operation among the Partner States are in political, economic and social fields for the mutual benefit of the members. The EAC Customs Union was established in 2005 and a Common Market in 2010. The next phase of the integration will see the bloc enter into a Monetary Union and ultimately become a Political Federation of the East African States.
Enlargement of the Community
The regional economic bloc encompassing Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda with a combined population of more than 130 million people, land area of 1.82 million sq kilometers and a combined Gross Domestic Product of $74.5 billion has great strategic and geopolitical significance and prospects of a renewed and reinvigorated East African Community.