East African Community is a pipe dream

By Justin Nkaranga

Mombasa, Kenya: Last week, East African Community (EAC) leaders arrived in Mombasa for a meeting aimed at looking into strategies to boost regional economic growth and improve integration. 

But that is pipe dream far away at cloud nine. Not now.

Some presidents of the region encompassing the EAC snubbed the occasion.  Reasons for skipping the ceremony were not explained. The commissioning of Berth 19 at Mombasa Port was only graced by Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda.

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These meetings often don't achieve much. Little happens to make real impact to be felt by all.

Once upon a time there was a similar East African body of three countries Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The three Presidents of the three nations President Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Miltom Obote of Uganda and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania were at Kilindini Port to commission MV. Mulungushi which today, we don't know of its whereabouts.

The East African Community lacks unity. The member states do not trust one another.

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Can these states ‘cheating’ one another bond to form the United States of East Africa and have one President if they are genuine enough?

Border disagreements as is portrayed in the Migingo Island dispute is just one of the situations that need to settled first before the neighbours can actualise unity. Keeping mum on the issue could be a ticking time bomb.

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When will EAC have one Identity Card or passport? When will we have one currency? So that we travel freely without what we encounter at all border points within East Africa. Not now. We are a thousand miles from reality.

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East African Community trade ties