Africa Rising

Integrating East Africa: Progress, Challenges and Future Prospects

15 December
10:10 - 11:40
Tsavo Room Hilton


TDS LIVE | Integrating East Africa: Progress, Challenges and Future Prospects

Session objectives 

The East African Community is the most advanced and ambitious Regional Economic Community in Africa, having made the most linear progress towards a full economic union. It has developed a fully functioning FTA, and has made good progress on establishing a Customs Union. In 2010 it established a Common Market and in 2013 it adopted the EAC Protocol, outlining their plan to launch a monetary union within the next 10 years. Comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, the EAC also serves as a gateway to the EAC-COMESA-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area, which should come into force in 2017. The political leadership of the EAC Secretariat and Member States and significant investments in trade facilitation and infrastructure along the Northern and Central Corridors are helping drive down trade costs and delivery times for small and medium-sized firms in the entire region and increase intra-regional trade. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) reported that between 2000 and 2012 intra-regional exports by destination averaged 19.5% compared to the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which averaged 10.9%, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) with 8.7%. 

This side event will explore how the unique blend of regional and national political will and innovative and responsive development finance has been used to drive forward the regional integration agenda in the EAC, and ensure it translates into tangible benefits for all East Africans.  It will discuss the progress made, the success and the challenges so far, as well as look forward at the future prospects for the region.