East African Community (EAC) States have enhanced the realization of Political Federation of the East African States in a region with Gross Domestic Product of over 41 billion US dollars by fast-tracking the Federation.
Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi are geared to improve the living standards of over 126 million people in the region through improved trade and investment climate. The people who occupy 1.85 million square kilometers of land share common history, language, and culture which are good ingredients for regional co-operation and integration.
EAC Director –General in-charge of Customs and Trade, Mr. Peter Kiguta, praised the 40 per cent growth of the EAC intra-trade and the increased Foreign Direct Investment, saying EAC ranks globally as the fastest integration bloc because the Common Market has been attained within 10 years after the signing of the new EAC Treaty on 30 November, 1999.
In comparison, he added, it took a much longer period for the European Union, cited as the global benchmark of regional integration, to become a formal market. The committee members fast-tracking EAC are Chairman, Kenya’s Attorney-General Amos Wako, Vice-Chairman Prof. Haidari Amani(Tanzania), and the Secreatary of the Committee Dr. Ezra Suruma(Uganda).
Other members are Ms. Margaret Chemengich (Kenya), Prof. Sam Tulya-Muhika (Uganda), and Mr. Mohammed Fakih Mohammed (Tanzania).The current EAC Chairman is President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (Tanzania).Ms. Monique Mukaruliza, Rwanda’s EAC Minister is the chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers.
Mr. Francis Muthaura, EAC first Secretary-General (March 1996- March 2001), formulated the first and the second EAC Development Strategies 1997-2000 and 2001-2005 which formulated the development policy and framework for regional co-operation.
Mr. Amenya Mushega (Uganda), the second EAC Secretary –General who was appointed on 24 April 2001, implemented the second development strategy projects and porogrammes, institutional development and establishment of a Customs Union.
Ambassador Dr. Juma Volter Mwapachu (Tanzania), the third EAC Secreatary-General, was appointed on 2 April 2006 to formulate and implement the third EAC Development Strategy (2006-2010) which was launched in November 2006. It consolidated the Customs Union, established the EAC Common Market, enhanced infrastructure development, industrialization, agriculture and rural development.