The East African Community Trade Agreement: A Game Changer for the Region
The East African Community (EAC) is an intergovernmental organization that was established in 1967 with the aim of promoting economic integration and development in the region. The EAC comprises of six member states: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.
In recent years, the EAC has been in talks to implement a comprehensive free trade agreement known as the East African Community Trade Agreement (EACFTA). The agreement seeks to boost intra-regional trade by creating a single market for goods, services, and investments within the EAC region.
The EACFTA will be a game changer for the region as it seeks to eliminate all trade barriers that have been holding back the growth of intra-regional trade. In the past, the EAC had implemented various trade agreements that focused on specific sectors or goods. However, the EACFTA is an all-encompassing agreement that aims to integrate the economies of the six member states.
The EACFTA is expected to bring numerous benefits to the region, including increased trade volumes, increased employment opportunities, and economic growth. The agreement will also facilitate the movement of people, goods, and services across the region, which will help to reduce the high cost of doing business in the region.
The EACFTA is also expected to encourage foreign investment in the region. With a population of over 170 million people and abundant natural resources, the EAC is a prime destination for foreign investors seeking to tap into the region`s economic potential. The EACFTA will create a conducive environment for investment by providing a level playing field for both local and foreign investors.
The EACFTA negotiations have been ongoing since 2016, and the agreement is expected to be implemented in 2021. The implementation of the agreement will require significant investment in infrastructure, such as transport and energy, to facilitate the movement of goods and services across the region.
The EACFTA is not without its challenges. The agreement will require the harmonization of various policies and regulations across the member states. This will require significant political will and commitment from all member states to ensure that the agreement is implemented successfully.
In conclusion, the East African Community Trade Agreement is a game changer for the region. It will create a single market for goods, services, and investments within the EAC region, which will lead to increased trade volumes, employment opportunities and economic growth. The agreement will also facilitate the movement of people, goods and services across the region, which will help to reduce the high cost of doing business in the region. However, the successful implementation of the EACFTA will require significant political will and commitment from all member states.