At this time, the East African Community plans to move through all phases of the integration process. The East African Community has as its motto, “One People, One Destiny.” Unlike many of federations of nations that have formed for the purposes of trade and economic development and prosperity, the East African Community has set some lofty goals. According to a KAS International Report, the East African Community has political unity placed into its founding treaty and planned to have a common currency by the year 2012. Although these plans were delayed, the common market went into effect in 2011.
One of the biggest goals of the East African community is to draw in foreign investors. The East African Community would like to induce foreign investment through a new frontier of oil and gas exploration. Tanzania has a significant wealth in natural gas reserves, however, it does not have the infrastructure in place that is required to exploit such reserves; therefore, foreign investment is required for this country to take advantage of its natural wealth. In addition, oil has been discovered in the countries of Uganda and Kenya which can add to the country’s wealth and economic positioning.
Another goal of the East African community is to establish a federation which is to have a federal president and parliament. This was originally set, under the fast tracking plan that was in place, for 2013; however, the country of Tanzania rejected the plan of fast tracking the political federation in favor of a gradual switch to this type of integration in the area. According to Segal’s 1967 article “The integration of developing countries: some thoughts on East Africa and Central America” appearing in the Journal of Common Market Studies there is a reason that developing nations would support economic integration while being hesitant toward the thought of political integration. Countries which attempt economic integration normally are experiencing some growth in the economic sector which they would like to continue. “This the countries are at the same time in an intensely nationalist phase of experiencing a growing pride in national economic and political achievement, and economically ‘ready and eager’ for new economic relationships with the external world. It is in these countries that the arguments for economic integration find their strongest appeal while political integration appears as a threat. Political integration with developed countries is perceived as a new form of earlier economic bondage jeopardizing national economic and political policies and gains, while political integration with developing countries is viewed as a possible risk for national political stability as well as demanding policies of income redistribution in favor of those countries”.
The East African Community would like to turn the fledgling economies of the countries that are member of it around and create economic success through the wealth of consumers that are in the region. By first eliminating trade barriers in that area and encouraging these countries to work together, the East African community would like to build the region into a trade region that is similar in nature to the European Union with respect to trade and political cooperation.
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