Search

 

Cablegate: Guide to the East African Community

VZCZCXRO4857
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHDR #0100/01 0340702
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 030702Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9330
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHMS/AMEMBASSY MUSCAT 0204
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 3137
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 0110
RUEHLGB/AMEMBASSY KIGALI 1614
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 1582
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
RUEHDS/USMISSION USAU ADDIS ABABA
RHMFISS/CDR USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RHMFIUU/CJTF HOA//J3
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHLMC/MCC WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 DAR ES SALAAM 000100


DEPARTMENT FOR AF/E JTREADWELL; AF/C AKEITH AND AF/EPS
STATE PASS TO USAID/EA
STATE PASS TO USITC
TREASURY FOR REBECCA KLEIN
LABOR FOR INTERNATIONAL LABOR AFFAIRS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR PREL ECON XW ZF TZ
SUBJECT: GUIDE TO THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY

DAR ES SAL 00000100 001.2 OF 004


1. BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY: The East African Community (EAC) is
the regional intergovernmental organization of Burundi, Kenya,
Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Headquartered in Arusha,
Tanzania, the EAC's goals, reaffirmed in a November 2009
Summit, are to realize a common Customs Union (supposedly in
effect since January 1, 2010), a Common Market (to go into
affect July 1, 2010) and a Monetary Union(the current work
plan for which suggests a three-year time frame to implement),
leading to an eventual Political Federation. The Common
Market is meant to provide free movement of goods, people and
labor in the region but seems to have a long way to go to be
realized. There also is a Tripartite Process to harmonize
the EAC with the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)
and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
President Kikwete (Tanzania) is the current EAC Chairperson, a
position which rotates annually. With 48 percent of its
budget provided by donors, the EAC's paper structures often do
no match ground realities. Nonetheless, the EAC is the
primary regional coordinating mechanism, and its importance
continues to grow. END BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY.

2. The East African Community (EAC) is the regional
intergovernmental organization of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania,
Rwanda and Burundi. The EAC was originally founded in 1967,
but collapsed in 1977. The East African Community was finally
revived on 30 November 1999, when the Treaty for its re-
establishment was signed and entered into force on 7 July 2000
following ratification by the original three partner states:
Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Rwanda and Burundi acceded to the
EAC Treaty on 18th June 2007 and became full members of the
Community July 1, 2007.

The Community
-------------

3. Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda have a combined
population of more than 125 million people, a land area of
1.82 million sq kilometers and a combined Gross Domestic
Product of $60 billion (2008).

Current Status of Community Customs and Trade
---------------------------------------------

4. The first major achievement of the EAC was establishment of
a Customs Union for East Africa, signed in March 2004 and
supposedly going into effect on 1 January 2005. Under the
terms of the treaty, Kenya, the region's largest exporter, was
supposed to continue to pay duties on its goods entering the
other four countries, based on a declining scale, until 2010
(when all tariffs are abolished). A common system of tariffs
is theoretically supposed to apply to goods imported from
third-party countries (but often this is violated in the
breach).

5. Officially under the EAC Customs Union, which became law
January 1 of this year, goods manufactured in any one of the
partner states can move anywhere around the EAC without
suffering any import duties. However, in the words of an EAC
Communique' touting the launch of the "full-fledged" Customs
Union, "this may not be working perfectly right now."
Meanwhile, for goods imported into the EAC, partners have yet
to agree on modalities for collection and accounting for
customs revenue. In theory, once those goods are taxed upon
entry into the EAC, they could move freely around the
Community. (COMMENT: According to EAC figures, the total
volume of intra-EAC trade is merely 13%. This can be compared
to Europe at 60% and Asia at 40%. END COMMENT)

6. While generally EAC citizens are largely in favor of the

DAR ES SAL 00000100 002.2 OF 004


EAC, informal polls indicate that most Tanzanians (up to 80%
of its population) have an unfavorable view. Tanzania has more
land than the other EAC nations combined, and some Tanzanians
fear land-grabs by wealthy residents of the other EAC member
nations. Many Tanzanians also are wary of free movement of
labor, fearing that in many professions more capitalist-savvy
and better-educated Kenyans will come and snatch the plum
jobs. During the November 2009 Summit, President Kagame of
Rwanda talked about the "need" to mitigate revenue loss
through "financial compensatory mechanisms,"in order to make
the union a meaningful success.

7. In 2008, the EAC, the Southern Africa Development Community
(SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa
(COMESA) agreed in principle to an expanded free trade area
among member states of all three. They established a
"Tripartite Process" to harmonize the overlapping benefits of
the EAC with SADC and COMESA, with "coordination units" having
been set up in all three regional organizations. Tanzania is
a full member of SADC.

EAC Agenda for 2010
-------------------

8. For 2010, EAC SYG Mwapachu hopes to increase cooperation in
defense, which will involve the upgrading of the existing
memoranda of understanding on defense matters into a legally-
binding protocol. This is expected to take place at a special
forum in Kampala in February. (2009 saw joint military
exercises in different parts of the EAC and a first-ever EAC
Peace and Security Conference, held in Uganda.)

9. Other activities for 2010 include hosting a Conference for
People With Disabilities (to be held in Kampala); the 3rd East
African Investment Conference; a high-level Conference on
Railway Development and a first-ever Summit on Food Security
and Climate Change. The EAC also plans to table a bill in the
regional parliament against counterfeit products and come up
with a clear roadmap for a Monetary Union (plans drawn up in
2004 are for the EAC to introduce a common currency, the East
African shilling, sometime between 2011 and 2015).

10. Also this year, the Civil Aviation Safety and Security
Oversight Agency (CASSOA), an institution of the EAC, will
move offices from Arusha to Entebbe in 2010. Meanwhile,
cooperation with the EAC's co-members in the Tripartite
Taskforce - COMESA and SADC - is set to intensify as the three
blocs work towards actualizing a Free Trade Area. The EAC will
also be seeking to revive the stalled Economic Partnership
Agreement (EPA) negotiations with the European Union this
year.

The EAC Common Market Protocol
------------------------------

11. At a Summit held November 20, 2009 for the 10th
Anniversary of the EAC, Heads of State signed a Protocol for
the Establishment of the East African Community Common Market.
It will to go into effect July 2010, assuming all EAC member
states ratify the protocol. However, none have done so yet.

12. The EAC Common Market Protocol provides for the following,
to be progressively implemented:

(i) free movement of goods;
(ii) free movement of persons;
(iii) free movement of workers;
(iv) the right of establishment;
(v) the right of residence;

DAR ES SAL 00000100 003.2 OF 004


(vi) free movement of services; and
(vii) free movement of capital

13. Talks are also underway for a common visitor's visa for
the region. In addition, the Protocol provides for
cooperation in the following areas:

(i) protection of cross border investments
(ii) economic and financial sector policy coordination
(iii) competition and consumer welfare
(iv) commercial policy
(v) coordination of transport policies
(vi) harmonization of social policies
(vii) environmental management
(viii) statistics
(ix) research and technological development
(x) intellectual property rights
(xi) industrial development; and
(xii) agriculture and food security

ORGANS OF THE EAC
-----------------

14. The EAC is made up of the following elements:

-- THE SUMMIT comprises the heads of government of partner
states and gives general direction on goals and objectives of
the Community. There is a yearly rotating Presidency,
currently held by Kikwete, who took the mantle from Rwanda
President Kagame during the EAC Arusha Summit last November.
At the last Summit, Zanzibari President Karume sat on the dais
for all "Head of State" events, but he had no speaking role
and did not sign any documents. The official languages of the
Community are English and Swahili (not/not French), and during
the November Summit addresses, all leaders spoke in Kiswahili.

-- THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS is the main decision-making
institution. It is made up of ministers from the partner
states responsible for regional co-operation. For Tanzania,
that person is Deputy Minister for East Africa Cooperation
Mohamed Aboud.

-- THE COORDINATING COMMITTEE consists of permanent
secretaries and reports to the Council of Ministers. It is
responsible for regional cooperation and coordinates the
activities of the Sectoral Committees.

-- SECTORAL COMMITTEES conceptualize programs and monitor
their implementation. The Council of Ministers establishes the
committees on recommendation of the Legislative Assembly. The
EAC has established a Sectoral Committee on Co-operation in
Defense, as well as an Inter-State Security Committee

-- THE SECRETARIAT is the full-time executive organ of the
Community. As the guardian of the Treaty, it ensures that
regulations and directives adopted by the Council are properly
implemented. The Secretary General is Ambassador Juma V.
Mwapachu from Tanzania.

-- EAST AFRICAN COURT OF JUSTICE is the judicial arm of the
Community. It has a watchdog function and also plays a part in
the legislative process. The court has jurisdiction over the
interpretation and application of the 1999 Treaty that re-
established the EAC and in the future may have other original,
appellate, human rights or other jurisdiction upon conclusion
of a protocol to realize such extended jurisdiction. It is
temporarily based in Arusha, Tanzania.

-- EAST AFRICAN LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY (EALA)(septel) is the

DAR ES SAL 00000100 004.2 OF 004


legislative arm of the Community. The EALA has oversight
functions on all matters that fall within the Community's work
and its functions include debating and approving the budget of
the Community, making recommendations to the Council, and
liaising with National Assemblies on matters pertaining to the
Community. Since being inaugurated in 2001, the EALA has had
several sittings as a plenum in all member states' capitals.

-- AUTONOMOUS INSTITUTIONS OF THE COMMUNITY are the East
African Development Bank, Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization
and the Inter-University Council for East Africa.

DONOR CRITICISMS
----------------

15. Donors provide 48 percent of the EAC's General Budget.
The figure may be significantly higher if one counts the
various specific EAC projects and conferences funded by others
as well(for example, the USG, through USAID's Competitiveness
and Trade Expansion Program (COMPETE) will provide up to $84
million over four years to "increase trade and investment
between the U.S. and Eastern and Central Africa (ECA);" much
of that money goes to EAC-related activities). Moreover, much
of the contribution of member states themselves comes from
donor support. Some donors have complained that the EAC can
be profligate in its conferences and travel and not always
transparent in its funding.

16. British Aid Agency DFID, in a report to be released
February 2 to Budget Support Partners offers the following
criticism (and recommendations): "The combined absence of the
staff (in some cases up to 80% of their time is spent away
from the office), in addition to overlapping periods of
absence within the SYG's office, creates performance
challenges across the organization in terms of its ability to
share information, make timely decisions to address daily
routine matters. The existing Executive Team does not meet
regularly to discuss policy and opera|MmOai$3/QqgQOCtQK0jQBl travel
policies and diary management and provide guidelines as to who
should attend meetings. In addition, the EAC has yet to adopt
modern video conferencing facilities to enable regular
regional meetings and avoid unnecessary travel for established
projects."

COMMENT
-------

17. Whereas the EAC's paper structures often do no match
ground realities, the EAC is nonetheless the primary regional
coordinating mechanism, and its importance continues to grow.
For decades during the colonial era and a few years beyond,
the region had a common currency. Infrastructure issues
crosscut the borders throughout the region, as do security and
economic issues. The partners share a common language,
Kiswahili (spoken to varying degrees among all five), the use
of which continues to expand (along with English, increasingly
spoken in Rwanda, being revived in Tanzania but little used in
Burundi). The bureaucracies of the EAC and its members may
still be shaky, but the motivation is real and the imperatives
more so.

LENHARDT

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>

UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

UN: Decades Of Health Gains At Risk In Brazil Due To COVID-19

Although COVID-19 cases are declining in Brazil, the pandemic is putting decades of public health gains there at risk, the head of the World Health Organization ( WHO ) said on Friday. With global attention and support focused this week ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>