The East African Community is home to 150 million citizens, of which 22% is urban population. With a land area of 1.82 million square kilometres and a combined Gross Domestic Product of US$ 146 billion (East African Community Statistics for 2016), its realisation bears great strategic and geopolitical significance and prospects for the renewed and reinvigorated East African Community.
The work of the East African Community is guided by its Treaty which established the Community. It 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. The Republic of Rwanda and the Republic of Burundi acceded to the East African Community Treaty on 18 June 2007 and became full Members of the Community with effect from 1 July 2007. The Republic of South Sudan acceeded to the Treaty on 15 April 2016 and become a full Member on 15 August 2016.
As one of the fastest growing regional economic blocs in the world, the East African Community is widening and deepening co-operation among the Partner States in various key spheres for their mutual benefit. These spheres include political, economic and social.
At the moment, the regional integration process is in full swing as reflected by the encouraging progress of the East African Customs Union, the establishment of the Common Market in 2010 and the implementation of the East African Monetary Union Protocol.
East African Community current status
The process towards an East African Federation is being fast tracked, underscoring the serious determination of the East African leadership and citizens to construct a powerful and sustainable East African economic and political bloc.