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East African Community (EAC)

Partner states: The Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Republic of Uganda.
First established: 1967
Headquarters: Arusha, Tanzania 
 1.82 million sq km
Population: 150 million
Official Language: English
Summit Chairperson: H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
Council Chairperson: Rt Hon. Kirunda Ali Kivejinja
Secretary-General: Amb. Libérat Mfumukeko
GDP, nominal: US$ 146 billion (EAC Statistics for 2016)

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EAC Common Market: Overview

The Protocol on the Establishment of the East African Community (EAC) Common Market entered into force on 1 July 2010, following ratification by all the five Partner States: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The Protocol was signed by the Heads of States on 20 November 2009, coinciding with the 10th Anniversary celebrations of the revived Community.

The establishment of the East African Community Common Market is in line with the provisions of the EAC Treaty. It provides for “Four Freedoms”, namely the free movement of goods; labour; services; and capital, which will ignificantly boost trade and investments and make the region more productive and prosperous.

The Common Market represents the second stage of the regional integration process (as defined by the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community), following the Customs Union, which became fully­fledged in January 2010. The Common Market Protocol is a significant step towards the achievement of the next milestones in the integration process namely the Monetary Union and the EAC Political Federation.

A Common Market is however not a new phenomenon for East Africa. The East African region operated one under the former East African Community (1967­1977) which was very successful and only collapsed with the old EAC.

The establishment of the Common Market shall be progressive in accordance with the relevant laws of the Community and those of the Partner States.

General Provisions

There are general provisions in the Protocol that touch on the following: Institutional Framework needed to operationalize the East African Community Common Market; Approximation and Harmonisation of Policies, Laws and Systems; Safeguard Measures; Measures to address imbalances; Monitoring and Evaluation; Regulations, Directives and Decisions; Annexes; Amendment of the Protocol; Settlement of Disputes; Entry into Force; and Depository and Registration.

Common Market Annexes

The implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol will be guided by the relevant Annexes which are integral parts of the Protocol. So far, 6 Annexes are in place to guide the implementation of the various Articles of the Protocol. The Annexes are:

i. Free Movement of Persons

ii. Free Movement of Workers

iii. Right of Establishment

iv. Right of Residence

v. Schedule of Commitments on the Progressive Liberalisation of Services

vi. Schedule on the Removal of Restrictions on the Free Movement of Capital


A framework for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol was rolled out in the Partner States in 2012. Based on that framework, two reports on the implementation of the Protocol have been considered by the Council of Ministers, which noted with concern that the implementation of the Protocol was lagging behind schedule.

In an effort to expedite the implementation process, all the Partner States have now established National Implementation Committees following a Council directive to that effect, and the Committees have commenced work in their respective territories.

At the regional level, the Sub Committee on Approximation of Laws finalized review of the laws governing Companies, Insolvency, Partnerships, Business Names Registration, Immigration and Labour and Employment.

The EAC Secretariat also commissioned a consultancy study to conduct an examination and review of existing laws of the Partner States that have a direct bearing and impact on the Common Market. The study has been finalized and is due for consideration by the Sectoral Council on Legal and Judicial Affairs.




Capital: Bujumbura
Area: 27,830 sq km
Population: 11,466,756
Official Language: Kirundi, French, Swahili & English     
Government: Presidential Republic (President Pierre Nkurunziza
Currency: Burundian franc
Calling Code: +257
GDP, nominal: $7.985 billion, $808 per capita (2017 est.)
Independence day: 1 July 1962




Capital: Nairobi
Area: 581,309 sq k
Population: 44,037,656
Official Language: English, Swahili
Government: Presidential Republic (President Uhuru Kenyatta)
Currency: Kenyan Shillings
Calling Code: +254
GDP, nominal: $163.5 billion (2017 est.)
Independence day: 12 December 1963




Capital: Kigali
Area: 26,338 sq k
Population: 12,012,589
Official Language: Kinyarwanda, English, French
Government: Constitutional Republic (President Paul Kagame)
Currency: Rwandan Franc
Calling Code: +250
GDP, nominal: $24.61 billion (2017 est.)
Independence day: 1 July 1962



South Sudan

Capital: Juba
Area: 644,329 sq km
Population: 13,026,129
Official Language: English, Arabic, Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Zande & Shilluk
Government: Constitutional Republic (President Salva Kiir Mayardit)
Currency: South Sudanese pound
Calling Code: +211
GDP, nominal: $11.07 billion
Independence day: 9 July 2011




Capital: Dodoma (dar es Salaam largest city)
Area: 945,203 sq km
Population: 44,928,923
Official Language: Kiswahili, English
Government: Constitutional Republic, President Jakaya Kikwete
Currency: Tanzanian Shilling
Calling Code: +255
GDP, nominal: $162.8 billion (2017 est.)
Independence day: 26 April 1964




Capital: Kampala
Area: 241,038 km2
Population: 35,873,253
Official Language: English, Swahili
Government: Presidential Republic (President Yoweri Museveni)
Currency: Ugandian Shilling
Calling Code: +256
GDP, nominal: $91.5 billion (2017 est.)
Independence day: 9 October 1962