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Friday, April 22, 2011

EAC to Focus on Political Federation

This being a week where a lot has happened with regard to the East African Community, focus now shifts on the ultimate goal of the community’s integration which is the political federation.Three other pillars are before this are the customs union, common market and the monetary union. 

At the moment, the first two pillars have a solid foundation although there are still challenges that are being experienced such as the need to deal with non-tariff barriers and to form a single customs territory.  The council of ministers at the 9th extra-ordinary summit of the heads of state was tasked with analyzing and see how this single customs territory can be achieved and present the report of their findings to the summit later on this year.The negotiation for the monetary union, which is the third pillar is currently underway with a lot of studies being done to gauge its feasibility. 

The political federation though has its own fair share of concerns. Just on Wednesday,  East African Community Heads of State directed a team of experts working on political federation to come up with recommendations on ways to address public fears over political federation. In a joint communiqué read by the outgoing EAC Secretary General, Ambassador Juma Mwapachu, the leaders said that the experts’ report presented to them was short of such recommendations. 

The presidents urged the experts to complete their duty within  the framed period and present it during the next EAC Heads of State summit. However, the Chairperson of the summit, the President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza said political federation would help strengthen the community, adding that the move is justified by the stage so far reached in having the customs union and common market.

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