The East African Community (EAC) is a Regional Economic Community (REC) consisting of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi as Partner States. The EAC integration process is being pursued through four main stages as provided in the EAC Treaty (which came into force in July 2000); namely the Customs Union, the Common Market, the Monetary Union, and ultimately the Political Federation.

Imani Development was contracted to assist in the development of a Regional Trade Policy. This Regional Trade Policy is expected to steer the EAC towards full implementation of the integration agenda (Customs Union and Common Market) as well as facilitate equitable regional development and integration into the global economy.

The policy focuses on coherence and compatibility between internal and external trade, enhancement on how all Partner States benefit from external trade and the ability of the EAC to negotiate as a block.

Purpose of a RTP:

  1. The external trade policies of Partner States are compatible with and reinforce the Common Market and the realisation of the freedoms and rights of the Community.
  2. Trade policy is coordinated in such a way as to contribute to the competitiveness of all Partner States and to value addition for all producers, including MSMEs.
  3. The EAC will negotiate as a block: with the EAC Secretariat facilitating the development of common positions on key issues.

Outputs of the consultancy included:

  • An Analytical review: Covered EAC Customs Union and Common Market Protocol; existing trade policies at the national, regional and multilateral (WTO) levels; data analysis of trade and investment patters and trends
  • Partner State consultations: A basic field guide based on the policy recommendations of the draft report was developed. This was presented with a summary presentation (English and French) to stakeholders during country consultations and feedback by Partner States was consolidated.
  • A Final Report: Guiding principles, vision, goal and priorities and specific policy recommendations for a RTP
  • Ongoing Reporting, with formats including: An Inception Report, Draft Report, Final Report and Executive Summary report