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The East African : Dec 15th 2014
The EastAfrican 40 SPECIAL ADVERTISING FEATURE ADVERTISEMENT DECEMBER 13-19,2014 EAST AFRICAN VOICES PROTOCOL watch Fede≥ation being pushed f≥om top T he Political Federation is the final stage of the EAC integration process. This includes having a central political authority as well as common foreign and security policies. The ultimate aim of the EAC integration process is the attainment of the 4th pillar i.e. a Political Federation. However, so far this is being discussed at the very top level ie by the Summit of the Heads of State through recommendations made by the Council of Ministers. The process is not shrouded in mystery but it has no public input since in Article 123 (6) it is provided that “the Summit shall initiate the process towards the establishment of the Political Federation of the Partner States by directing the Council of Ministers to undertake the process.” >> Common Market has made doing business simpler, faster Common Market is a second stage of the EAC integration process. As a trading bloc, the Customs Union allows for common policies on product regulation, free movement of goods, services, labour and capital. The other major characteristics of a Common Market are harmonisation of the legal framework for capital markets (common goals approach); free mobility of capital; strong institutions to monitor decisions; and harmonisation of monetary and fiscal policies. The East African Community Common Market Protocol was signed on July 1, 2010. The overall objective of the Common Market is to widen and deepen co-operation among the Partner States in the economic and social fields for the benefit of the citizens of the Community. >> Customs Union has been smooth and has grown cross-border trade The Customs Union is the first stage of the EAC integration process. The EAC Customs Union was launched in 2005 to liberalise intra-regional trade in goods on the basis of mutual beneficial trade arrangements among the Partner States; promote efficiency in production within the Community; enhance domestic, cross-border and foreign investment in the Community; and promote economic development and diversification in industrialisation in the Community. The Union is characterised by same import tax on all goods from outside East Africa and removal of all taxes on goods between the countries. >> Monetary Union on its way despite nationalistic hurdles The Monetary Union is the third stage of the EAC integration process. It is characterised by a common currency with a centralised monetary authority; co-ordinated macroeconomic policies; strong central institutions and common policies for structural change and development. The envisaged EAC Monetary Union is expected to adhere to these characteristics in broadening and deepening the integration process, and smooth trading activities between and among the peoples of the region. A lot mo≥e needs to be done to As per the EAC Treaty, each Partner State has established a Ministry in charge of Community Affairs to co-ordinate its affairs at the national level By CHRISTABEL LIGAMI Special Correspondent ple-cantered and market-driven co-operation and emphasizes on multilevel participation and the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders in the process of integration. The Treaty also cites the T principle of complementarity whereby people will participate in the Community activities at all levels: Partner States, individual, company, association, group, non-governmental organisations and other interest groups like women, youth and others. The primary objective of the EAC integration is to raise the living standards of the people through promotion of entrepreneurial skills and collaboration in trade and business. “For this to take place, the EAC must uphold good governance, free market economy and rule of law as pre-requisites for regional development and global partnerships,” said the EAC Secretary-General Richard Sezibera. “The successful implementa- tion of the Treaty requires total co-operation of the residents of East Africa; and the willingness, commitment and action of states, markets and civil society towards total social inclusion.” Dr Sezibera said that when all citizens are involved in decision making or the Community, it promotes and builds national trust which improves he Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community underscores the peo- the image of the country. “Through having strong citizen participation, countries will automatically adhere to the rules of democracy in governance,” said Dr Sezibera. Article 7 of the EAC Treaty on the Establishment of the EAC provides for a people-centred and market driven economy. However experts say that there is a lack of knowledge about the EAC among the masses. In an effort to create and im- prove on integration awareness, the East African Community secretariat in June this year launched an awareness programme in a bid to ensure border residents understand better the regional bloc’s integration agenda. The programme dubbed “EAC Regional Programme for Sensitisation of Border Communities” started on June 24 at the border of Rwanda and Tanzania and is to cover all the borders in EAC Partner States. Besides raising general awareness among border communities of the EAC region, it specifically focuses on smallscale traders to enhance their understanding of the bloc’s integration agenda since they are at the core of cross-border trade and drive integration in the grassroots. As per the EAC Treaty, each Partner State has established a Ministry in charge of East African Community Affairs and the Ministries co-ordinate the affairs of the Community at the national level. The Ministries are also charged with sensitising and ON THE GROUND Nai≥obi meeting ag≥ees on no By STAFF WRITER The EastAfrican Citizens of East Africa now be able to work in any of the East African countries without incurring any extra costs starting from next year. Currently it is only in Rwanda where people from within the region obtain a work permit without paying a fee. However during the eighth Northern Cor- ridor Infrastructure Project Summit in Nairobi on Thursday, Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta, Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda respectively noted that free movement of people within the region had improved trade. The presi- dents directed their ministers in charge of Immigration to conclude the Agreement on Total Liberalisation of Free Movement of Labour and Services agreed upon at an earlier meeting. Other leaders present at the meeting were were South Sudan Vice President Jasmes Igga and officials from Burundi, Tanzania and Ethiopia. The summit was a follow-up of another one in Kampala in October. The leaders also ordered the operation- alisation of one network area for the region starting from next year to facilitate easy communicate. “The Summit has further directed removal of all non-tariff barriers and emphasised the need for compliance by all popularising the regional integration activities at the national level. Partner States are tasked with broadening and deepening their consultation processes to ensure inclusive decision-making, policy formulation and implementation. As a result, stakeholders are informed and fully engaged in shaping the Community. The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is currently pushing for the enactment of a law that will ensure that East Africans are actively involved in the integration process. EALA members have for- warded the proposed Civic Education Bill to all National Assemblies for scrutiny by member states before it is passed into law. Once the law is enacted, the EAC Partner States and stakeholders will be required to sensitise their citizens on the integration matters. The aim of the Bill is to en- sure that citizens can understand EAC matters and get involved in the integration process. This will make them know that EAC is people-centred and a market-driven Community.
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Dec 22nd 2014