UPSC GS 2 Notes: East African Community

The East African Community (EAC) is an intergovernmental organisation based in the eastern region of the African continent. First established in 1967, the organisation was re-established on 7th July 2000 with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. The current Secretary-General of EAC is Amb. Libérat Mfumukeko. The EAC fosters economic, political and social cooperation among its member-countries. It is also one of the fastest growing regional economic blocs in the world today.

East African Community Countries

The 6 partner-states of the EAC are as under:

1. Republic of Burundi

2. Republic of Kenya

3. Rwanda

4. South Sudan

5. United Republic of Tanzania

6. Republic of Uganda

The EAC countries are home to about 150 million people out of which 22% is urban. It accounts for a total land area of 1.82 million sq. km. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the countries combined make up USD 147.5 billion. Its official language is English and the last country to join the EAC was South Sudan, when it became a part of the organisation in September 2016.

East African Community History

The following points sum up the history and origins of the East African Community.

  • EAC was established for the first time in 1967.
  • It was dissolved in 1977
  • In November 1993, an Agreement for the Establishment of the Permanent Tripartite Commission for East African Cooperation was signed.
  • In 1996, a Secretariat for the Commission was launched.
  • In 1999, an important treaty was signed for the establishment of the EAC.
  • On 7th July 2000, the above treaty came into force.
  • In November 2009, a protocol was signed for the establishment of the EAC common market.
  • In 2010, the common market for EAC was launched for capital, labour and goods within the region.
  • In 2013, a protocol was signed for the establishment of the EAC Monetary Union.
  • In 2018, the members launched a committee for the framing of a constitution for the regional organisation.

The EAC will ultimately lead to the formation of the East African Federation (much like the European Union) with its member countries uniting to become a fully sovereign state.

The East African Community (EAC) is a topic under international relations for the UPSC exam. International organisations are an important part of General Studies 2 of the UPSC syllabus. Questions can be asked in the UPSC prelims as well as the mains from international relations topics that feature in the news regularly.

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