By Earnest Kivumbi Benjamin-updated at 1325 EAT on Saturday 29th April 2023
Kampala Youth have been urged to embrace East Africa agenda during a symposium organised by EMBRACE an acronym for Engendering Movement, Bilateral Relations and Access to Commerce in East-Africa.
Speaking to the youth, Malcolm Isaac Bulamu the founder of EMBRACE noted that the East African regional awareness and awakening campaign going throughout all the seven Nations of the East African Community i.e Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Congo DRC has its roots in Uganda.
The program is geared towards fostering and promoting Integration through several activities including but not limited to Bus Tours, cultural Galas, sports Promos, School Quizzes, debates and writing competitions, Youth Symposiums among others.
The Four Pillars of the East African Community
The Customs Union
It means free movement of goods within the EAC Partner States, trading with zero duty imposed on goods and services amongst themselves and agreed on a common external tariff (CET), whereby imports from countries outside the EAC zone are subjected to the same tariff when sold to any EAC Partner State.
Goods moving freely within the EAC must comply with the EAC Rules of Origin and with certain provisions of the Protocol for the Establishment of the East African Community Customs Union.
The Monetary Union
It lays groundwork for a monetary union and allows the EAC Partner States to progressively converge their currencies into a single currency in the Community.
In the run-up to achieving a single currency, the EAC Partner States aim to harmonize monetary and fiscal policies; financial, payments and settlement systems; accounting and reporting practices; policies and standards on statistical information; and, establishment of an East African Central Bank
The Common Market
It means FREE movement of people following the FREE movement of goods through out the partner states.
To accelerate economic growth and development, the EAC Partner States must maintain a liberal stance towards the four Freedoms of movement for all the factors of production and two Rights between themselves. These Freedoms and Rights include: Free Movement of Goods, Free Movement of Persons, Free Movement of Labor / Workers, Right of Establishment, Right of Residence, Free Movement of Services, Free Movement of Capital.
Underlying the EAC Common Market are operational principles of the Community, namely: Non-discrimination of EAC citizens on grounds of nationality; Equal treatment, transparency and sharing of information for the smooth implementation of the Protocol.
The Political Federation
The Political Federation is the ultimate goal of the EAC Regional Integration, the fourth step after the Customs Union, Common Market and Monetary Union. It is provided for under Article 5(2) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community and founded on three pillars: common foreign and security policies, good governance and effective implementation of the prior stages of Regional Integration.
It is worth noting that attainment of the Political Federation is a process and not an event. Though the process has been slow, the EAC Heads of State resolved at a Special Summit held in Nairobi on 27-29 August 2004 to examine ways and means of deepening and accelerating the process through a fast-track Mechanism. The Summit set up a Committee to Fast-Track the EAC Political Federation, dubbed the Wako Committee, to carry out wide consultations and finalize the work on the Political Federation. The Committee presented its report to the Summit on 29 November 2004.
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