REGIONAL ECONOMIC INTEGRATION IN AFRICA: A REVIEW OF PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS WITH A CASE STUDY OF EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY, 2001-2015

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This study looks at the usefulness of the regional economic integration to the East African Community in relation to the milestones the economic bloc towards growth and development of the member states and the problems the bloc has had to contend with. The study therefore focused on the progress of the integration during the period 2000 – 2015. The  st u d y  d i s c u s s e s  t h e  four  stages  of  the  EAC integration mainly the customs union and common market,  which  have been  implemented while touching on new developments which include the entry of new member states and new problems that have redefined the integration including trade, terrorism and mistrust among member states.

It also outlines the key findings from the study and presents the main recommendations on  how  challenges  to  the  integration  process  can  be  overcome.  This  is   generally applicable to other regional integration schemes particularly in Africa. The important issue of the likelihood of selected member states deriving more benefit from the integration is addressed. The study also outlines the theoretical aspects of regional integration especially with respect to the functionalism theory and the customs union theory. Regarding key recommendations, the issues of the need for civic education for citizens in the partner states, the need for effective monitoring and evaluation of the progress in the integration process are addressed. The findings recommend for the need for greater stakeholder involvement to attain effective policy harmonization and coordination. The need for more detailed studies on other aspects of the integration has also been pointed out.

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PROF. AMB. MARIA NZOMO
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