AN INVESTMENT GUIDE TO THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY
The East African Community (EAC), composed of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, came into existence in July 2000, upon ratification of the EAC Treaty by the three partner States.
The EAC covers a total area of 1,768,812 sq. kms and is inhabited by 93 million people. Located below the Horn of Africa and with a coastline of 2,104 kms on the Indian Ocean, the region is endowed with some remarkable physical features. It contains, for example, Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa and the source of the river Nile. The climate and soil in much of the region are ideal for agriculture, while the wildlife in its forests and savannahs is an enormous asset for tourism. The EAC is also richly endowed with a variety of natural resources like gold, oil and gas.
Constraints on investment include poor infrastructure, especially in transport and power, weak administration and persistent corruption. Against these, however, should be set the strong advantages, which include a skilled and enterprising workforce in Kenya, one of the most liberal African economies in Uganda and political stability in all three countries.
The basic objective of the Community is to move towards full integration. The first step of the integration process was achieved with the establishment of the Customs Union in January 2005. The EAC Fast-tracking Committee has recommended a road map which would lead to political federation by 2013. At their most recent Summit in May 2005, the Presidents of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda confirmed their commitment to fast-tracking the integration process.