Challenges of Incorporating the Economic Acquis Communautaire of the East African Community in a New Common Market

47 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2010

Date Written: June 29, 2010


Headquartered in Arusha, Tanzania, the East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda). The EAC Treaty entered into force on 7 July 2000. Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda officially launched the EAC on 15 January 2001. Burundi and Rwanda became full EAC Partner States with effect from 1 July 2007.

The Partner States undertake to establish a Customs Union, a Common Market, subsequently a Monetary Union and ultimately a Political Federation among themselves. In March 2004, the Partner States signed the EAC Customs Union Protocol and it came into effect in January 2005. A “fully fledged” Customs Union entered into force five years later on 1 January 2010. In November 2009, the EAC Heads of State signed and approved the EAC Common Market Protocol. In tandem with the ratification process, and operational start target of 1 July 2010, Partner States are endeavouring to ensure the enactment of relevant enabling legislation to give effect to the EAC Common Market Protocol by 21 August 2010.

What mechanisms will Partner States institute to give legal effect to the provisions of the Common Market Protocol by 21 August 2010? This was the question asked of Partner States in the process of drafting this paper. This article presents the results of that evaluation. It evaluates the substantive content of the EAC’s economic acquis communautaire and assesses the progress made by each Partner State to approximate their national laws with the regional framework.

Presented at the SIEL 2010 Conference in Barcelona.

Keywords: Acquis communautaire, Regional Economic Integration, East African Community, WTO, African Law, Regional Trade Agreements, Free Trade Area, Customs Union, Common Market

JEL Classification: F02, F14, F15, F22, F36, F42, F43

Suggested Citation

Thorp, Teresa, Challenges of Incorporating the Economic Acquis Communautaire of the East African Community in a New Common Market (June 29, 2010). Society of International Economic Law (SIEL), Second Biennial Global Conference, University of Barcelona, July 8-10, 2010, Available at SSRN: or

Teresa Thorp (Contact Author)

Insight International ( email )

United Kingdom
+44 7717 782 549 (Phone)

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